Shopping Cart Link

Carnegie Mellon University Press

Sign up for our newsletter

Bookmark and Share
Cart link
Paperback add to cart

For Educators
View cart
Cover image Click for larger image

The Histories
Jason Whitmarsh

Carnegie Mellon
2017 • 72 pp. 8 1/2 x 5 1/2"

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-88748-622-7

Jason Whitmarsh’s The Histories is an extravagantly funny and deeply affecting work of the imagination. With an obsessive precision, Whitmarsh catalogs our misunderstandings, our absurdities, our joys, and, above all, our sorrows. This is a world of stunning invention and lyric beauty: horsemen without horses, miniature Manhattan Projects, meditating kings and arguing gods, Wallace Stevens love songs and Kafka singing the blues. Though fragmented and incomplete, these histories get much of our experience—our hopes, our heartbreak—exactly right.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Poetic stealth has found a new champion in Jason Whitmarsh. In The Histories, the prose poem is refreshed with deceptive wildness and brief lyrics have the impact of buildings falling.” —Dean Young

From the Book:


It was summer, a hot day,
It was summer, a hot hot day.
The night was lost, the moon far away.

I have eleven sons.
Oh yes, lord, I have eleven sons.
They see me, lord, and they all run.

It looks as if much had been neglected in our country's system of defense.
Oh, it looks as if much had been neglected in our country's system of defense.
You say you're leaving, but you're not making sense.

We have a new advocate, Dr. Bucephalus.
We have ourselves a new advocate, Dr. Bucephalus.
It was once the whole world, baby, but now it's just us.

JASON WHITMARSH received a BA in mathematics from the University of Chicago and an MFA in poetry from the University of Washington. His poems have appeared in a number of journals, including Poetry Northwest, the Cincinnati Review, Subtropics, and Ploughshares. His first book, Tomorrow's Living Room, won the 2009 May Swenson prize. He lives in Seattle with his wife and children.

Tue, 15 May 2018 13:49:37 -0500