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Archeophonics
Peter Gizzi

Publication date: August 1, 2017 (paperback)


Wesleyan Poetry Series

Wesleyan
2016 • 108 pp. 1 illus. 5 1/2 x 7 3/4"
Poetry / Poetry - American

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-7772-6
$24.95 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-7680-4

$18.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7681-1

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.



“In his eighth collection, Gizzi continues his quest to renew lyricism … his ear remains as appealing as ever, and his paratactic syntax still surprises line by line … At their warmest, Gizzi’s poems offer genuinely moving confrontations with mortality, history, and tradition.” Publishers Weekly

Soulful and intricate lyrics make this Gizzi’s strongest book to date

Archeophonics is the first collection of new work from the poet Peter Gizzi in five years. Archeophonics, defined as the archeology of lost sound, is one way of understanding the role and the task of poetry: to recover the buried sounds and shapes of languages in the tradition of the art, and the multitude of private connections that lie undisclosed in one’s emotional memory. The book takes seriously the opening epigraph by the late great James Schuyler: “poetry, like music, is not just song.” It recognizes that the poem is not a decorative art object but a means of organizing the world, in the words of anthropologist Clifford Geertz, “into transient examples of shaped behavior.” Archeophonics is a series of discrete poems that are linked by repeated phrases and words, and its themes and nothing less than joy, outrage, loss, transhistorical thought, and day-to-day life. It is a private book of public and civic concerns.

An online reader’s companion is available at http://petergizzi.site.wesleyan.edu.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“In his eighth collection, Gizzi continues his quest to renew lyricism … his ear remains as appealing as ever, and his paratactic syntax still surprises line by line … At their warmest, Gizzi’s poems offer genuinely moving confrontations with mortality, history, and tradition.” Publishers Weekly

“Award-winning poet Gizzi here uses spare, focused language to reflect on language itself: its origins, structure, uses, and music. “The old language/ says the apple/ is the old apple,” he proclaims, reflecting how words are rooted deep down in our past. But as language complexified, it gave that apple “all/ the dance floor/ she needed,” and “hot syntax” has remade our view of the world (“I hate that, when syntax/ connects me to the rich”). Hence our need—and our difficulty—in separating appearance from reality, effluence from essence; the “static lovely” of what we want to communicate must traverse “a grubby transom.” But what better tool for expressing “this hammering/ thing, life”? VERDICT Maybe tough sledding for the less intellectually inclined, yet seasoned readers shouldn’t miss.”—Library Journal

“Gizzi treads eggshell air, eggshell earth, traipse never not shadowed by collapse, as if to sound some depth, some corrected tilt or some righted something gone under, the poems an evaporative track left in its wake.”—Nathaniel Mackey, author of Nod House

“I like that Peter frequently over bets, this poet gets in trouble and needs the world to get him out of it. It’s like this: I saw the frill of light today/walking on the path. It’s speechy, meaning (for me) that his writing actually grows ornamental, and then suddenly it turns slight like trash in the street and it’s ravishingly strong. Gizzi’s strength is a world of big ideas buttressed by fragility and the incidental. And he’s often complaining. I’d call it girly.  Even post gender. It’s strong and it’s pretty work.” —Eileen Myles

“Peter Gizzi’s disturbing lyricism is like no other.”—Adrienne Rich

From the Book:

I'm just visiting this voice
I’m just visiting the molecular structures
that say what I am saying
I am just visiting the world at this moment
and it's on fire
It's always been on fire

I'm saying this and it's saying me
That's how it works seesaw like
The archive in the mouth and the archive is on fire
That's the story
The sun and the body and the body in the sun

It was like this just like this
The world that’s coming toward me
And the world around me
Around me are words saying this
saying fire
Saying something or all of it



Author Photo

PETER GIZZI is the author of six collections of poetry including Threshold Songs and In Defense of Nothing. His honors include the Lavan Younger Poet Award from the Academy of American Poets, and artist grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Howard Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He works at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Click here for author's website.


National Endowment for the Arts
This project is supported in part by an award from the
National Endowment for the Arts


Sat, 15 Apr 2017 17:30:47 -0500