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It Is If I Speak
Joe Wenderoth



Wesleyan Poetry Series

Wesleyan
2000 • 83 pp. 6 x 9"
Poetry

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6390-3



“In a courageous follow-up to Disfortune (1995), Wenderoth populates his poems with austere voices that assert a strange and prophetic authority over us even... [continued in Reviews below]”—Boston Review

New poems from the most iconoclastic poet of his generation.

In the epigraph to Joe Wenderoth's new volume of poetry, a herdsman, exhorted by Oedipus to speak the truth, replies "It is if I speak that I will be destroyed."

Wenderoth's poetry is sparse, nihilistic -- and sometimes witty. Publishers Weekly wrote that, "Like Stevens, Wenderoth has a passion for philosophical ideas; at the same time he follows Williams' dictum: no ideas but in things. The result is poetry that is intellectually charged but whose final fidelity is to the senses." His new book has the dignity of a sincere and ferocious despair. In the narratives of these poems, "owing is all that really happens," and lives are shaped by the refusal to "sink dumbly into tolerance of a spectacle."

Reviews / Endorsements

“In a courageous follow-up to Disfortune (1995), Wenderoth populates his poems with austere voices that assert a strange and prophetic authority over us even as they seem naive, almost nascent . . . Cumulatively, the voice and vision of these poems suggest an up-to-the-minute Kafka; Wenderoth presents a deadeningly organized world and scrutinizes it for untouched lyricism.”—Boston Review

“Wenderoth’s exquisite evocations of finely discriminated loss offer moody evasions of concrete statement, electing paradox and abstraction . . . Much praised for his 1995 debut, Disfortune, Wenderoth shows himself in this second volume to be a competent inheritor of an abstraction-wearied symbolist tradition many had given up for dead.”—Publishers Weekly



JOE WENDEROTH, whose new work is published regularly in Triquarterly, Colorado Review, Seneca Review, and other journals, has captured the front cover of American Poetry Review, and continues to gather a following. A graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program, he is currently in the English Department at Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota. Author of Disfortune (Wesleyan, 1995) and a chapbook The Endearment (1999), excerpts of his Letters to Wendy's are accessible on-line at Nerve.com



Sat, 15 Apr 2017 15:39:39 -0500