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Andrew Zawacki

Wesleyan Poetry Series

2004 • 92 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6701-7

“Andrew Zawacki is a poet of startling, exhilarating capacity. ...(T)he conceptual and formal subtlety of his writing evokes a complex psychological reality."Boston Review

Emotionally charged poetry offers an uncanny poetics of intimacy.

Anabranch, the sequel to Andrew Zawacki’s critically acclaimed By Reason of Breakings, is a record of philosophical movement into the world, a meditation upon its shadowy routes, and a requiem for what is lost along the way. Composed of three sequences introduced by a “Credo” that professes, “I believe / in the violence of not knowing,” this volume of poems explores alienation, disruption, and disjunction at the levels of language, perception, feeling, and the self. In a broken landscape defined by negation and an asymptotic relation to a divinity that might not exist, Zawacki pursues a poetics of intimacy, impelled by what the heart decides, and offers a visionary new way for being in the world. Poems in Anabranch have been awarded both the 2002 Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award and the 2002 Cecil Hemley Memorial Award by the Poetry Society of America.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“…his poems represent a kind of mosaic, a thoughtfully and carefully assembled mosaic of hints, premonitions, hunches and recollections…”
Ales Debeljak, The Literary Review

"Zawacki's language is constantly on the move, taking us in unexpected directions, as the book's title indicates."

“Anabranch, hairweed, architrave, halogen, agar, keelhauled, verdelho—with rare and perhaps dangerous words, like the crumbs left by Hop O’ My Thumb, Andrew Zawacki leads us further and further into the enchanted forest. “I believe in disquiet,” he says, and he is right to-disquiet in these poems is like oxygen, what keeps them buoyant and vibrant. Reading Anabranch is like being rowed along the corridors of a flooded palace.” —John Ashbery, writer

“Out of Nowhere and Never, a text that determinately situates here and now. Andrew Zawacki’s beautiful plainsongs extend no false gestures, no attempt to stave off our essential transience or aloneness. Instead, Anabranch presents a meticulous examination of the moment borne in what of staring upward, through the limbs, Body wedded to our strained yet comely planet.”
C.D. Wright

From the Book:


You say wind is only wind
& carries nothing nervous
in its teeth.
I do not believe it.

I have seen leaves desist
from moving
although the branches
move, & I
believe a cyclone has secrets
the weather is ignorant of.
I believe
in the violence of not knowing.

I've seen a river lose its course
& join itself again,
watched it court
a stream & coax the stream
into its current,

& I have seen
rivers, not unlike
you, that failed to find
theirway back.
I believe the rapport
between water & sand, the advent
from mirror to face.

I believe in rain
to cover what mourns,
in hail that revives
& sleet that erodes, believe
whatever falls
is a figure of rain

& now I believe in torrents that take
everything down with them,

The sky calls it quits,
or so I believe,
when air, or earth, or air
has had enough.

I believe in disquiet,
the pressure it plies, believe a cloud
to govern the limits of night.

I say I,
but little is left to say it, much less
mean it --
& yet I do.

Let there be
no mistake:
I do not believe
things are reborn in fire.
They're consumed by fire.

& the fire has a life of its own.

ANDREW ZAWACKI is the author of By Reason of Breakings (2002) and Masquerade (2001), co-editor of the international journal Verse, and editor of the anthology Afterwards: Slovenian Writing 1945-1995 (1999). He currently studies in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.

Fri, 9 Nov 2018 09:28:29 -0500