Ashbery - Bang - Ramke - Three Books I'm Looking Forward to
Here are three books I’m looking forward to this fall. What else is coming up?
Planisphere: New Poems
by John Ashbery
The only thing I know about it so far is it will be 160 pages, and it will come out in December.
by Mary Jo Bang
The goblet mouth on the table speaks
To your thirst, saying, Longing, your longing, is infinite.
-from "H Is Here Is a Song, Now Sing"
In her sixth collection, The Bride of E, Mary Jo Bang uses a distinctive mix of humor and directness to sound the deepest sort of anguish: the existential condition. Timeless yet tirelessly inventive, Bang fashions her examination of the lived life into an abecedarius that is as rapturous in its language and music as it is affecting in its awareness of--and yearning for--what isn't there. The title of the first poem, "ABC Plus E: Cosmic Aloneness Is the Bride of Existence," posits the collection's central problem, and a symposium of figures from every register of our culture (from Plato to Pee-wee Herman, Mickey Mouse to Sartre) is assembled to help confront it. Riddled with insight, pathos, and wit, The Bride of E is a brilliant new work by one the most compelling poets of our time.
Theory of Mind: New & Selected Poems 1978-2008
by Bin Ramke
Drawing upon four decades of poetry and including an ample selection of new work, this perceptive collection shares a wealth of intimate experiences and compelling encounters with the world. Citing an extensive range of social, scientific, literary, and philosophical sources, each piece offers a lens of both telescopic and microscopic precision. Sharing insight into many private forms of suffering—mental illness, loss of loved ones, family crises—personal issues are used to assess continued struggles with the profound questions of what it means to be human, moral, and conscious. Directly responding to current social and cultural issues, these engaging meditations examine the complex interrelations of people with their environment, work, health, cultural upheaval, and natural disasters. Deftly detailing the essence of human existence, small instances of daily activity—from drinking tea to remembering childhood experiences—are brought to the forefront and gently articulate the value of human life.