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Jackstraws
Charles Simic
0151004226
Apr 1999
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
By now, Simic's matter-of-fact tossings off of the gothic, the banal and the absurd are so familiar that it's hard to know when he's putting us on. In this 13th collection, less allusive and lighter in tone than the Pulitzer Prize-winning Walking the Black Cat, "store windows with out-of-business signs" replace "The famous no-shows,/ Truth, Justice, and so forthA" as the poet leads us through blackly comic scenes from post-industrial America's weedy sidewalks and abandoned lots. The "big topics" often get upstaged by images of small annoyancesAflies, spiders and insects win a surprising amount of attention by climbing religious statues, crawling under the napkins of drag queens eating pot roast and provoking mock admiration: "Teeny dadaists on the march,/ You're sly and most witty/ As you disrupt my rare moments/...


Good Poems for Hard Times
Garrison Keillor
0670034363
September 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Booklist
Having revived the radio variety program with A Prairie Home Companion Garrison Keillor turned to broadcasting poetry in the daily short feature The Writer's Almanac. In any given week, probably more people hear him read poems than attend poetry readings and slams. That's good because his taste is excellent. But then, his criteria are golden. For him, a poem is good if it's memorable, recitable, and accessible. The almost-unheard-of-for-poetry sales of Good Poems (2002) suggest that many endorse his taste and criteria, and the sequel to that success gives them no reason to change their minds. As before, the range of poets represented is broad contemporarily (the majority are alive or very recently deceased) and historically (sixteenth to twenty-first century), though not internationally, for, with one...


Feast
Tomaz Salamun
0151005605
Oct 2000
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
By turns brutal and coy, gnomic and blunt, the Slovenian poet Salamun's third English-language collection insistently dismembers the world, only to slyly recreate and celebrate it. Edited by Charles Simic, this volume presents translations of Salamun's recent and older work, as did 1997's The Four Questions of Melancholy and 1988's Selected Poems, the latter also edited by Simic. Uneven and variegated, Feast presents everything from throwaway one-liners to beautifully muted lyrics and wildly excessive, surreal investigations of daily life. Salamun excels when working in the last mode, and the strongest poems here offer a Whitmanic breadth steeped in an absurdity that is caustic yet humane: "A windowpane yields no warmth. Who// made it transparent? Who owns the energy/ nibbling under the teeth? Have you ever...


Charles Simic in Conversation with Michael Hulse
Charles Simic
1903291038
February 2003
Paperback
·
 


The Voice at 3 A.M.
Charles Simic
0151008426
Apr 2003
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
With his 1989 collection The World Doesn't End a Pulitzer winner, and 1996's Walking the Black Cat an NBA finalist, Simic has achieved major recognition for his wryly acerbic meditations and send-ups; this selection from his last eight books (excluding the prose poems of The World Doesn't End), matched with 19 new poems, should pave the way for more. On re-reading work that is approaching its 20th year in print, readers will find that Simic's signature quatrains and other free verse stanzas retain their forceful mix of joy, wit and melancholy: "How do you like that?/ I said to no one./ How do you like that?/ I said it again today upon walking." The new poems, most no more than a page long, include the neo-Yeatsian foreboding of "Grayheaded School Children" ("Their dead fathers shuffle past them/ On their way to...


Letters of Transit: Reflections on Exile and Memory
Andre Aciman (Editor)
0641637446

Hardcover
·
 


The Gunter Grass Reader
Gunter Grass
0151011761
Dec 2004
Hardcover
·
 
Book Description
Selected from the vast range of his work, the writings included in this anthology trace Günter Grass's development as a writer, and with it the history of a nation coming to terms with its past.
Excerpts from Grass's major novels-from The Tin Drum to Crabwalk-are included, as are numerous short fictions, essays, and poems, many of which have never appeared before in English. Grass's gifts as an observer of and participant in the social and political landscape are justly celebrated, as are his inimitable sense of humor, his consistent defense of the disadvantaged, and his mastery of the forms of expression he has employed over the years.
For readers in search of an introduction to his work or for those familiar primarily with his novels, this diverse collection offers a fresh and stimulating introduction to...


Late Mattia Pascal
Luigi Pirandello
1590171152
October 2004
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Universally recognized as one of the founding figures of modern drama and theater, Pirandello is virtually unknown here as a novelist and short story writer. Written in 1904, this novel touches on some of the themes that reverberate throughout his work: illusion and reality, the enigmas of identity, art and life. The narratorprotagonist is something of a buffoon, a figure out of comic opera, the impoverished son of a once-rich family stripped bare by a villainous swindler of an estate manager. Living a dreary life as an archivist, tired of his dismal marriage, plagued by an intrusive mother-in-law, tormented by creditors, he slips away to Monte Carolo and hits it big. While he is gone, a suicide in his hometown is mistakenly identified as the very same Mattia, who, being an enterprising scamp, changes name and...


My Noiseless Entourage
Charles Simic
0151012148
Apr 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Over the past three decades, Simic's compact, often spooky poems of displacement, violence and anxiety have won him national acclaim (and a Pulitzer); for some readers, Simic's frightened children, intrepid shopkeepers and bleak fairy-tale atmospheres mark his work as late-blooming surrealism, while others link his sensibility to the violence he escaped as a child in 1940s Serbia. Simic offers many sinister delights, if few big shockers, in this 14th volume of new work: of its four sections, the first two stick largely to the grittily familiar Simic settings: "All-night cafeterias,/ Dark barrooms/ And poolhalls," not to mention "an empty platform/ With no town in sight." Short, bleary lines alternate streamlined realism with dreamlike gloom: "A tongue by itself in a birdcage" begs for water, while a walker...


The Metaphysician in the Dark (Poets on Poetry Series)
Charles Simic
047206830X
May 2003
Paperback
·
 
Book Description
Charles Simic's quicksilver imagination, his masterly way with words, and his unalloyed love of life and language alike inform every page of this wonderfully wide-ranging collection. Again and again, Simic takes up a subject and turns it this way and that, showing us what we haven't noticed before, inviting us to share an infectious delight that turns everything, in the end, into poetry. It's a gift that has won him a coveted MacArthur Fellowship, among many honors, but he wears his magic lightly.


Walking the Black Cat
Charles Simic
015600481X
Oct 1996
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Simic's short, taut lines carve dark-edged images reminiscent of old folk tales. In this new collection, his 13th (The World Doesn't End earned him the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1990), he focuses on such folklore elements as chance, luck, faith and illusion at work in a quotidian world of cookouts, family life and memory. Juxtaposing disparate images, Simic jars his readers into a state of disorientation, priming them for a world where one must approach mirrors "sideways/ In rooms webbed in shadow," where "Destiny marks you early in the day/ With a knowing finger," and where a tree is "spooked/ By its own evening whispers/...Making a noise full of deep/ Misgivings,/ Like bloody razor blades/ Being shuffled." There the lucky and the nimble survive: "Death's an early riser./ You've got to be real quick/ To slip...


In Fact: The Best of Creative Nonfiction
Lee Gutkind
0393326659
November 2004
Paperback
·
 
From Booklist
*Starred Review* Mark Bowden, of Black Hawk Down (1999) fame, writes, "I think creative nonfiction is the major literary innovation of the last half century," a claim with which Gutkind, a tireless advocate for the form, wholeheartedly agrees. So committed to the genre is writer, teacher, and editor Gutkind, he founded the literary journal Creative Nonfiction and now celebrates its phenomenal first decade by collecting 25 of its best essays. The result is an electrifying anthology that covers the creative nonfiction universe from the personal essay to nature writing, literary journalism, and science writing. Each superb piece is followed by a writer's statement, and the book itself is introduced by a master of the form, Annie Dillard, whose "Notes for Young Writers" will galvanize all readers no matter their...


Jackstraws
Charles Simic
0156010984
Apr 2000
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
By now, Simic's matter-of-fact tossings off of the gothic, the banal and the absurd are so familiar that it's hard to know when he's putting us on. In this 13th collection, less allusive and lighter in tone than the Pulitzer Prize-winning Walking the Black Cat, "store windows with out-of-business signs" replace "The famous no-shows,/ Truth, Justice, and so forthA" as the poet leads us through blackly comic scenes from post-industrial America's weedy sidewalks and abandoned lots. The "big topics" often get upstaged by images of small annoyancesAflies, spiders and insects win a surprising amount of attention by climbing religious statues, crawling under the napkins of drag queens eating pot roast and provoking mock admiration: "Teeny dadaists on the march,/ You're sly and most witty/ As you disrupt my rare moments/...


Poems New and Collected
Wislawa Szymborska
0156011468
October 2000
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
All poets, according to Wislawa Szymborska, are in a perpetual dialogue with the phrase I don't know. "Each poem," she writes in her 1996 Nobel Lecture, "marks an effort to answer this statement, but as soon as the final period hits the page, the poet begins to hesitate, starts to realize that this particular answer was pure makeshift, absolutely inadequate." As a self-portrait, at least, this is fairly accurate. From the beginning, Szymborska has indeed wrestled with the demon of epistemology. Yet even in her earliest poems, such as "Atlantis," she delivered her speculations with a human--which is to say, a gently ironic--face: They were or they weren't.
On an island or not.
An ocean or not an ocean
Swallowed them up or it didn't.
Fifteen years later, when her 1972 collection,...


The Gunter Grass Reader
Gunter Grass
0156029928
Dec 2004
Paperback
·
 
Book Description
Selected from the vast range of his work, the writings included in this anthology trace Günter Grass's development as a writer, and with it the history of a nation coming to terms with its past.
Excerpts from Grass's major novels-from The Tin Drum to Crabwalk-are included, as are numerous short fictions, essays, and poems, many of which have never appeared before in English. Grass's gifts as an observer of and participant in the social and political landscape are justly celebrated, as are his inimitable sense of humor, his consistent defense of the disadvantaged, and his mastery of the forms of expression he has employed over the years.
For readers in search of an introduction to his work or for those familiar primarily with his novels, this diverse collection offers a fresh and stimulating introduction to...


A Fly in the Soup: Memoirs
Charles Simic
0472089099
January 2003
Paperback
·
 
Book Description
A Fly in the Soup is a book of memoirs. Charles Simic was born in 1938 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and spent his childhood in a city bombed by the Nazis in 1941 and then by the Allies in 1944. He was jailed with his mother after the war for trying to flee what was by then a communist country. He managed to emigrate in 1953, first to Paris and then a year later to the United States. He lived in New York, completed his high school education in Chicago and began writing in English and publishing his first poems in 1959 when he was twenty-one years old.


The Voice at 3
Charles Simic
015603073X
Apr 2006
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
With his 1989 collection The World Doesn't End a Pulitzer winner, and 1996's Walking the Black Cat an NBA finalist, Simic has achieved major recognition for his wryly acerbic meditations and send-ups; this selection from his last eight books (excluding the prose poems of The World Doesn't End), matched with 19 new poems, should pave the way for more. On re-reading work that is approaching its 20th year in print, readers will find that Simic's signature quatrains and other free verse stanzas retain their forceful mix of joy, wit and melancholy: "How do you like that?/ I said to no one./ How do you like that?/ I said it again today upon walking." The new poems, most no more than a page long, include the neo-Yeatsian foreboding of "Grayheaded School Children" ("Their dead fathers shuffle past them/ On their way to...


A Fly in the Soup: Memoirs
Charles Simic
0472111507
December 2000
Hardcover
·
 
Book Description
A Fly in the Soup is a book of memoirs. Charles Simic was born in 1938 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and spent his childhood in a city bombed by the Nazis in 1941 and then by the Allies in 1944. He was jailed with his mother after the war for trying to flee what was by then a communist country. He managed to emigrate in 1953, first to Paris and then a year later to the United States. He lived in New York, completed his high school education in Chicago and began writing in English and publishing his first poems in 1959 when he was twenty-one years old.


The Unemployed Fortune-Teller: Essay And Memoirs
Charles Simic
0472065696
February 1995
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Simic's 18 collected pieces, published between 1990 and 1993, might well be called a parade of memory. In these journals, notebooks, introductions, memoirs, and occasional pieces, Simic recalls the sights, sounds and smells of his native Yugoslavia. Born in Belgrade in 1938, the poet and his family moved to the United States in 1954. From then on, he tells us, poetry has dominated and determined his life. Though he has been living in New Hampshire some 20 years, Simic still relishes the role of exile as he rails at the literary critics and schoolmasters who do not share his view of the power of lyric poetry. Simic is nostalgic and acutely observant of his Serbian roots, as well as his early days in this country. He mixes the erotic with the poetic, the sensual pleasures of food and...


The Book of Gods and Devils
Charles Simic
0156135469
Nov 1990
Paperback
·
 
From Library Journal
While Simic's terse, enigmatic poems have always expressed metaphysical concerns, this volume's title might suggest he is moving in an overtly religious, even visionary, direction. This expectation is only partially fulfilled by the poems. They largely represent a further exploration of styles and themes he has employed the past few years. The dualism implied by the title is played out in the way the poems balance existential dread with the possibility of hope, the way they explore both the world's "terror and luster." Still, the only certainty is uncertainty. Simic creates a world of signs--"the blue and gold Madonna in the window," a "single ceiling fan barely turning"--that point toward a mysterious, ever-elusive meaning. Simic was awarded the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for his collection of prose poems, The World...

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