All posts tagged: Bruce Beasley

Summer & Fall 2019

Featuring Bruce Bond, Anna Maria Hong, Richard Kenney, Kenji C. Liu, Allan Peterson, Michael Prior, David Rigsbee, Elizabeth Robinson, Cintia Santana, Mark Svenvold, Ellen Welcker, Yu Xiang & more

Notable Books (NW) – Reviews of Mary Szybist, Robert Wrigley, Nance Van Winckel, and more

NOTABLE BOOKS (NW) – Fall-Winter 2014 The reviews included in this feature section were first published in our fall-winter 2014 print issue. Incarnadine, Mary Szybist (Graywolf Press, 2013) Readers have waited a long while for Mary Szybist’s second book, Incarnadine, and that seems right. In an age of gush and glut, Szybist works patiently; her poems exude painstaking care, every line fleshed out (or broken), every word placed (or erased), just so. I mean this quite literally: titles like “How (Not) to Speak of God” and “On Wanting to Tell [       ] about a Girl Eating Fish Eyes” demonstrate how in Szybist’s hands words both fill and empty out the spaces they occupy (in the breath, on the page). The effect is helped by the lovely, large-format book design, which amplifies the white space around each poem. And concrete instances, like the sentence diagram “It Is Pretty to Think” or the aforementioned star-shaped “How (Not) to Speak of God,” embody the lyrical impulse to make the felt world visible with persuasive tact. But this is …

Bruce Beasley: “Year’s End Paradoxography”

I had been reading about the ancient literary collections in Latin and Greek called ‘paradoxographies,’ which were assemblages of brief notations of bizarre occurrences considered portentous, bewildering, wonderful, and strange: monstrous births, miraculous weather phenomena, astonishing reports of the barely believable but urgently interpretable events of the world. This poem came to me first through a series of urgent dreams: lines that later made their way into the poem reciting themselves insistently over and over until I woke up and scribbled them down. I found pages the next morning with strange paradoxical fragments and urgent pieces of prophecy and advice scribbled all over them, lines I had forgotten I had dreamed or written down, which seemed paradoxigraphical itself. The poem’s fragments of strangeness came out of those lines. This is the first poem for a manuscript I’m finishing called PARADOX DOXOLOGY that considers the strangenesses and wonders of the turn of the 21st century, from robot public service operators to genetic engineering to mood-altering neurosurgery: a ‘paradoxography’ for the new millennium. (Bruce Beasley) Year’s End …