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Here is a collection of poems by a writer whom the poet Carolyn Kizer calls "one of the most passionate, energetic, and honest poets living." Hugo's most important subject is the American West. In the present volume, people, places, dreams, and memories are explored again--always in search of the poet's self.
Richard Hugo, whom Carolyn Kizer has called" one of the most passionate, energetic, and honest poets living," here offers an extraordinary collection of new poems, each one a "letter" or a "dream." Both letters and dreams are special manifestations of alone-ness; Hugo's special senses of alone-ness, of places, and of other people are the forces behind his distinctively American and increasingly authoritative poetic voice. Each letter is written from a specific place that Hugo has made his own (a "triggering town," as he has called it elsewhere) to a friend, a fellow poet, an old love. We read over the poet's shoulder as the town triggers the imagination, the friendship is re-opened, the poet's selfhood is explored and illuminated. The "dreams" turn up unexpectedly (as dreams do) among the letters; their haunting images give further depth to the poet's exploration. Are we overhearing them? Who is the "you" that dreams?
The definitive collection of a major American poet's work. Richard Hugo was, in James Wright's words, "a great poet, true to our difficult life." Making Certain It Goes On brings together, as Hugo wished, the poems published in book form during his lifetime, together with the new poems he wrote in his last years.
Richard Hugo has been described by Carolyn Kizer as "one of the most passionate, energetic, and honest poets now living." Nowhere has that passion, energy, and honesty been more evident than in ?White Center, his newest volume of poems. "That Richard Hugo's poetry creates in his readers an almost indistinguishable desire for more," writes the critic and poet Dave Smith, "is the mark of his ability to reach those deep pools in us where we wait for passionate engagement. What Hugo gives us is the chance to begin again and a world where that beginning is ever possible." Here, for his ever-growing body of readers, are more of those opportunities.
In an essay on Richard Hugo, the poet James Wright called him "one of the precious few poets of our age . . . who has, and sustains, an abiding vision." Hugo took that vision to Skye with him: he makes Scottish history, legends, and "triggering towns" his own in these new poems, just as he has earlier done in poems of the American West. And in making them his own, he makes them our own as well. He continues to be, in Wright's words, "a great poet, true to our difficult life." In September of 1977 Richard Hugo and his family went to live for several months on the Isle of Skye, off the coast of Scotland. One of the results of that experience is this new and impressive volume of poems.
"[An] extraordinary book. . . . Mr. Gould is an exceptional combination of scientist and science writer. . . . He is thus exceptionally well placed to tell these stories, and he tells them with fervor and intelligence."--James Gleick, New York Times Book Review High in the Canadian Rockies is a small limestone quarry formed 530 million years ago called the Burgess Shale. It hold the remains of an ancient sea where dozens of strange creatures lived--a forgotten corner of evolution preserved in awesome detail. In this book Stephen Jay Gould explores what the Burgess Shale tells us about evolution and the nature of history.
Hauntingly beautiful fiction about two women, solitude, art, and transformation. For years, Gioia Timpanelli has held audiences rapt with her retellings of ancient tales, often appearing with Robert Bly, James Hillman, Joseph Campbell, and Gary Snyder. Here, in fiction full of warmth and resonances--characters we can't help but recognize, prose and imagery that play on the strings of the soul--Timpanelli draws on her deep knowledge of these old stories and their wisdoms to create a new and refreshing kind of storytelling, with hints of both Italo Calvino and Angela Carter. In "A Knot of Tears," a woman's locked-up life is transformed by a parrot who tells tales; her story becomes a subtle and surprising meditation on the necessity of being true to oneself and others. In "Rusina, Not Quite in Love," a strange and lovely retelling of the story of the Beauty and the Beast, a young woman escapes family and society--especially the grasp of her superficial and beastly sisters--to find consolation and beauty in nature and its muse. In each case, women of very different backgrounds--one aristocratic, one impoverished--find solitary spaces from which they can emerge as artists and shapers of their own destinies. With a sense of character unusual in contemporary fiction (not mere personality, but moral character) and a gentle, lyric touch, Timpanelli blends the seeming simplicity of folktale with a richly textured understanding of human nature. With great integrity and affection for language, her work teaches about love and solitude, honesty and art.
A bloody mutiny on a whaling journey, followed by an incredible tale of survival on land and sea. Samuel Comstock knew he was born to do some great thing, but his only legacy was a reign of terror. Two years out of Nantucket on a whaling voyage in 1824, he organized a mutiny and murdered the officers of the Globe. It was a premeditated act; in his sea chest Comstock carried the seeds, tools, and weapons with which he would found his own island kingdom. He had often described these plans to one of his brothers, William. But the chief witness and chronicler of the mutiny was young George Comstock, who neither participated in nor approved of his brother's savage deed. Within days of settling on Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands, Comstock was murdered by his fellow mutineers. Six innocent seamen--George among them--seized the Globe and escaped; most of the rest were killed by natives. Two survivors lived for twenty-two months, half-prisoners and half-adoptees of the natives, until they were rescued in a bold and dangerous maneuver by a landing party from the U.S. schooner Dolphin. The Globe's story is one of terror, adventure, endurance, and luck. It is also the story of one of the most bizarre and frightening minds that ever went to sea.
"One of the best novelists since Jane Austen."--Philadelphia Inquirer This novel is a powerful successor to Testimonies, Patrick O'Brian's first novel written for adults. It is set in that corner of France that became O'Brian's adopted home, where the long, dark wall of the Pyrenees runs headlong to meet the Mediterranean. Alain Roig returns to Saint-Féliu after years in the East and finds his family in crisis. His dour, middle-aged cousin Xavier, the mayor and most powerful citizen of the town, has fallen in love and plans to marry Madeleine, the young daughter of the local grocer. The Roig family property is threatened by this union, and Madeleine's relatives object on different grounds. Xavier is a tragic figure, damned by what he perceives as a lack of feeling; Madeleine is to be his salvation. Unfortunately she does not return his affection, and, as the feasts and harvest festivals of Saint-Féliu are played out, she finds herself falling in love with Alain.
O'Brian's richly told adventure saga, with its muscular prose, supple dialogue and engaging characters, packs a nice old-school punch." --Publishers Weekly This story begins where Patrick O'Brian's devoted fans would want it to, with a sloop in the South China Sea barely surviving a killer typhoon. The time is the 1930s and the protagonist a teenaged American boy whose missionary parents have just died. In the company of his rough seafaring uncle and an elderly English cousin, an eminent archaeologist, Derrick sets off in search of ancient treasures in central Asia. Along the way they encounter a charismatic Chinese bandit and a host of bad characters, including Russian agents fomenting unrest. The narrative touches on surprising subjects: astronomy, oriental philosophy, the correct identification of ancient Han bronzes, and some very local cuisine. It ends in an ice-bound valley, with the party caught between hostile Red-Hat monks and the Great Silent Ones, the Tibetan designation for the yeti.
"One of the best novelists since Jane Austen."--Philadelphia Inquirer The protagonist of this World War II novel is a prisoner of the German army in France. In order to keep himself sane while denying the charges and absorbing the beatings of his captors, Richard Temple conducts a minute examination--one might almost call it a prosecution--of his own life. Temple escapes from a blighted childhood and his widowed, alcoholic mother thanks to an artistic gift, the one thing of value he has to his name. His life as a painter in London of the '30s is cruelly deprived. In order to eat, he squanders this one asset by becoming a forger of art, specializing in minor works by Utrillo. He is rescued by the love of a beautiful and wealthy woman, and it is the failure of this relationship and the outbreak of war that propel him into the world of espionage.
"[Gardner] zaps his targets with laserlike precision and wit."--Entertainment Weekly Martin Gardner is perhaps the wittiest, most devastating unmasker of scientific fraud and intellectual chicanery of our time. Here he muses on topics as diverse as numerology, New Age anthropology, and the late Senator Claiborne Pell's obsession with UFOs, as he mines Americans' seemingly inexhaustible appetite for bad science. Gardner's funny, brilliantly unsettling exposés of reflexology and urine therapy should be required reading for anyone interested in "alternative" medicine. In a world increasingly tilted toward superstition, Did Adam and Eve Have Navels? will give those of us who prize logic and common sense immense solace and inspiration. "Gardner is a national treasure...I wish [this] could be made compulsory reading in every high school--and in Congress."--Arthur C. Clarke "Nobody alive has done more than Gardner to spread the understanding and appreciation of mathematics, and to dispel superstition."-- The New Criterion, John Derbyshire
A war memoir of unusual literary beauty and power from the acclaimed poet who wrote the poem "The Hurt Locker." In 2003, Sergeant Brian Turner crossed the line of departure with a convoy of soldiers headed into the Iraqi desert. Now he lies awake each night beside his sleeping wife, imagining himself as a drone aircraft, hovering over the terrains of Bosnia and Vietnam, Iraq and Northern Ireland, the killing fields of Cambodia and the death camps of Europe. In this breathtaking memoir, award-winning poet Brian Turner retraces his war experience--pre-deployment to combat zone, homecoming to aftermath. Free of self-indulgence or self-glorification, his account combines recollection with the imagination's efforts to make reality comprehensible. Across time, he seeks parallels in the histories of others who have gone to war, especially his taciturn grandfather (World War II), father (Cold War), and uncle (Vietnam). Turner also offers something that is truly rare in a memoir of violent conflict--he sees through the eyes of the enemy, imagining his way into the experience of the "other." Through it all, he paints a devastating portrait of what it means to be a soldier and a human being.
"Smart, funny, angry, political, and utterly poetic . . . both haunting and humorous." --The Rumpus
Winner of the 1999 National Book Award for Poetry. Collected here are poems from Ai's previous five books--Cruelty, Killing Floor, Sin, Fate, and Greed--along with seventeen new poems. Employing her trademark ferocity, these new dramatic monologues continue to mine this award-winning poet's "often brilliant" (Chicago Tribune) vision.
Justly celebrated as one of our strongest poets, Stephen Dunn selects from his eight collections and presents sixteen new poems marked by the haunting "Snowmass Cycle."
"Revealing and well-written. . . . A significant book."--Houston Chronicle It is one of the most enduring mysteries of the twentieth century: how, exactly, Adolf Hitler died and what happened to his remains. With access to the Russians' Hitler Archive, this book reveals not only what happened after the Russians captured Hitler's bunker but also why the Soviets felt the details of his death had to be suppressed.
"Here is the mature work of a poet who has always managed to delight--but who now demands something more of us. He asks us to enter the twenty-first century with open eyes: attentive to the past, eager for the future, naming what we love."--Judith Kitchen, Georgia Review
Nothing is more memorable than a smell. So why do we persist in dismissing the nose as a blunt instrument? Smell is our most seductive and provocative sense, invading every domain of our lives. We can identify our relatives, detect the availability of a potential mate, sniff out danger, and distinguish between good and bad food just with our noses. In this surprising and delightful book, Lyall Watson rescues our most unappreciated sense from obscurity. He brings to light new evidence concerning Jacobson's Organ: an anatomical feature discovered high in the nose in 1811 and dismissed for centuries as a vestigial ghost. Yet recent research has shown Jacobson's Organ to be an incredibly influential pheromonal mechanism that feeds the area of the brain affecting our awareness, emotional states, and sexual behavior. Following the seven classes of smell devised by the pioneering botanist Carolus Linnaeus in his Odores Medicamentorum, Watson examines the roles of smell and pheromones in humans, plants, and animals. He reveals the curious ways in which trees communicate their distress, the olfactory abilities of feral children, the bond we have with our offspring, the psychosexual effects of perfume, and the link between smell and memory formation. Jacobson's Organ unlocks the door to the strange world of this mysterious sense.
"Between Angels affirms what we are capable of in our best moments--grace, tenderness, love--while acknowledging that the human heart can be merciless. It's a book of great breadth."--Gregory Djanikian, Philadelphia Inquirer
A scientific safari and personal memoir celebrating the enigmatic dignity of the world's largest land animal. As a child in South Africa, spending summers exploring the wild with his boyhood friends, Lyall Watson came face to face with his first elephant. This "entertaining and enchanting" work (Washington Post Book World) chronicles how Watson's fascination grew into a lifelong quest to understand the nature and behavior of this impressive creature. From that moment on, Watson's fascination grew into a lifelong obsession with understanding the nature and behavior of this impressive creature. Around the world, the elephant--at once a symbol of spiritual power and physical endurance--has been worshipped as a god and hunted for sport. "Watson's insights and speculations are dazzling, but what lends them power is his extraordinary knowledge of evolutionary biology and animal behavior, ethnography and South African history" (Wade Davis, National Geographic Society). "Like a shaman, Watson conjures up the spirit of the massive beast" (Publishers Weekly), documents the animal's wide-ranging capabilities to remember and to mourn, and reminds us of its rich mythic origins, its evolution, and its devastation in recent history. Part meditation on an elusive animal, part evocation of the power of place, Elephantoms presents an alluring mix of the mysteries of nature and the wonders of childhood.
A searing collection of poems about America's loss of innocence from the National Book Award-winning author of Vice. In poems that travel from the horrific flight of a World War II pilot to the World Trade Center attack, from the death of JFK Jr. to the poet's own bastard birth, Ai conjures purity as a distant memory and the knowledge of evil as an "infinite dark night." "An undoubtedly powerful personae."--Publishers Weekly "Ai's cleansing soliloquies give voice to pain both personal and communal....[Dread] presents her most masterfully unnerving works to date."--Booklist "Dread has the characteristic moral strength that makes Ai a necessary poet."--The New York Times Book Review
"Fulton is exactly the kind of poet Shelley had in mind when he said 'Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.' " --Verse In this eagerly awaited collection of new poems--her first in over a decade--Alice Fulton reimagines the great lyric subjects--time, death, love--and imbues them with fresh urgency and depth. Barely Composed unveils the emotional devastations that follow trauma or grief--extreme states that threaten psyche and language with disintegration. With rare originality, the poems illuminate the deepest suffering and its aftermath of hypervigilance and numbness, the "formal feeling" described by Emily Dickinson. Elegies contemplate temporal mysteries--the brief span of human/animal life, the nearly eternal existence of stars and nuclear fuel, the enduring presence of the arts--and offer unsparing glimpses of personal loss and cultural suppressions of truth. Under the duress of silencing, whether chosen or imposed, language warps into something uncanny, rich, and profoundly moving. Various forms of inscription--coloring book to redacted document--enact the combustible power of the unsaid. Though "anguish is the universal language," there also is joy in the reciprocity of gifts and creativity, intellect and intimacy. Gorgeous vintage rhetorics merge with incandescent contemporary registers, and this recombinant linguistic mix gives rise to poems of disarming power. Visionaries--truth tellers, revelators, beholders--offer testimony as beautiful as it is unsettling. Shimmering with the "good strangeness of poetry," Barely Composed bears witness to love's complexities and the fragility of existence. In the midst of cruelty, a world in which "the pound is by the petting zoo," Fulton's poems embrace the inextinguishable search for goodness, compassion, and "the principles of tranquility."
An expansive work inspired by Japanese prose-poetry from a poet of "rigorous intelligence, fierce anger, and deep vulnerability" (Mark Doty). Kimiko Hahn, "a welcome voice of experimentation and passion" (Bloomsbury Review), takes up the Japanese prose-poetry genre zuihitsu--literally "running brush," which utilizes tactics such as juxtaposition, contradiction, and broad topical variety--in exploring her various identities as mother and lover, wife and poet, daughter of varied traditions.
This breakthrough volume by award-winning poet Kimiko Hahn is her most rigorously "female" work to date as she reclaims the female body and reinvents an ancient Chinese correspondence. Mosquito and Ant refers to the style in which nu shu--a nearly extinct script used by Chinese women to correspond with one another--is written. Here in this exciting and totally original book of poems the narrator corresponds with L. about her hidden passions, her relationship with her husband and adolescent daughters, lost loves, and erotic fantasies. Kimiko Hahn's collection takes shape as a series of wide-ranging correspondences that are in turn precocious and wise, angry and wistful. Borrowing from both Japanese and Chinese traditions, Hahn offers us an authentic and complex narrator struggling with the sorrows and pleasures of being a woman against the backdrop of her Japanese-American roots.
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