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Amy Newman

Wesleyan Poetry Series

2004 • 84 pp. 6 x 9"

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6709-3
$25.00 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-6708-6

“Newman's language is rich and unique, full of strong imagery and surprising turns of phrase. The real delight in reading this collection is seeing where the definition will lead Newman.”—C.L. Bledsoe, The Hollins Critic

A single word holds a narrative of the human condition.

This new book by award-winning author Amy Newman explores as its formal structure the 72 definitions for the word “fall.” These lovely, accessible poems span a narrative drama—from the creation of the world and the subsequent exile of its first inhabitants, through the downward movement of the human body in its surrender to illness and the world's gravitational pull, to the beauty in the descent of spent foliage in autumn.

Each definition of “fall” engenders its own poem, and the definitions serve as poem titles. Section one explores the theological sense of The Fall, and section two focuses on the present world, addressing how the blemish of that Fall—real or imagined, religious or cultural—exists in us as homesickness, physical illness, and domestic and spiritual dissolution. The third section attends to the very gesture of defining, of finding ways to name and live in a world where both the landscape and the language are vividly alive yet saturated with memory and loss.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Amy Newman is an exceptional poet. She has a way of looking into the corners of thoughts and illuminating them, and her imagination excavates the smallest nuance.” —Barbara Jordan, author of Trace Elements

“The formalities of conception and of prosody serve to produce authority; the linguistic densities serve to produce vertiginous wonder.”Scott Cairns, author of Philokalia: New and Selected Poems

From the Book:

the blossom breaks apart: it rains a blessing,
like seed at a wedding: it is the fruit’s beginning, and I
am still on earth, the deep wet earth: I live here.

I walked alone beyond the yard: the afternoon
was brilliant, was syntactic beneath the leaves;
it slayed me. I wish I could tell you.
—from “Often capital F. Autumn”

Author Photo

AMY NEWMAN is Associate Professor of English at Northern Illinois University and author of Order, or Disorder (1995), which received the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Prize, and Camera Lyrica (1999), which received the Beatrice Hawley Award.

Tue, 15 May 2018 12:58:26 -0500