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Grave of Light
New and Selected Poems, 1970–2005
Alice Notley

Wesleyan Poetry Series

2006 • 388 pp. 7 x 9 1/4"

$29.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6773-4

“Notley developed her own ways of treating feminist thought, high and popular culture, and personal themes. This collection restores to print much of the unavailable work of this underground hero.”—Publishers Weekly, Best Books of 2006

Selected poems from a visionary feminist poet.

Considered by many to be among the most outstanding of living American poets, Alice Notley has amassed a body of work that includes intimate lyrics, experimental diaries, traditional genres, the postmodern series, the newly invented epic, political observation and invective, and the poem as novel. This chronological selection of her most notable work offers a delineation of her life and creative development. Formerly associated with the second generation of the New York School, Notley has become a poet with a completely distinctive voice. Grave of Light is a progression of changing forms and styles—an extensive panorama held together explicitly by the shape of the poet’s times. Notley’s poems challenge their subjects head-on, suffusing language with radiant truth.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“The inexhaustible reach and ceaseless invention of Notley's vision make Grave of Light a thrilling testament to her greatest poetic gift: an unwavering faith in poetry's power to change the real.”—Brian Teare, Boston Journal

"This monumental book features selected work by Alice Notley, one of America's most enduring poets. Notley has strengthened and redefined alternative forms to traditional modes of writing. Her poetry is autobiographical but her linguistic and experimental skills carpet the personal with a timeless vision that transforms the deaths of family and loved ones into poetic dimensions of grief and startling revelation. Over the decades, Notley has built a rich body of work that cannot be categorized or contained in a complex poetic community. Her poems sing of commitment and the daring steps it takes to move away from the predetermined forms toward a level of discourse that fills fresh pages with nobility and courage."—The Bloomsbury Review

“Her work displays a lucid sense of humor and a debt to William Carlos Williams.” —The New Yorker

oeuvre is a rich field for exploration, and…The Songs and Stories of the Ghouls is a wonderful place to start.” —David Blomenberg, Sycamore Review

"Always innovative and occasionally maudlin, the poems in Notley's latest book play haphazardly with figures of sound and speech. Showing the influence of ee cummings and William Carlos Williams, these free-verse poems are written as letters, postcards, and prose-paragraphs. ...In one of the most evocative and representative poems here, "Choosing Styles-1972", Notley suggests both the metaphorical and the emotional territory of her work. As she muses on the process of her poetry...she arrives at her subject: death. Although the ending evokes an uneasy resonance with ee cummings, it also shows Notley's talent for finishing a poem as opposed to merely stopping it."—
Library Journal

“Alice Notley is a visionary poet overshadowed by no one. These poems are consistently feminist and anti-war in spirit, yet Notley’s merciless honesty ensures they are never predictable.” —Rae Armantrout, author of Up To Speed

“This wondrous tome is a calling to a higher purpose, where the poet is a seer and communes with the powers of universe—beyond the grave—through sinewy imagination, and energetically charged language.”—Anne Waldman, The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Politics

From the Book:

We’re huddled in here don’t need anyone we’re
Star-sent-out light that’s still alive
We’re still here sending out us
As stars from the first world melt
Why aren’t we the same as each other
Rocks look the same I’ll never be you

Author Photo

ALICE NOTLEY has published more than twenty collections of poems. Her Mysteries of Small Houses (1998) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She has received the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Award for poetry, and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Paris.

Fri, 9 Nov 2018 09:30:21 -0500