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On Walking On
Cole Swensen

2017 • 128 pp. 8 x 8"

$16.95 Paperback, 978-1-937658-66-3

“Utilizing both research and praxis, Swenson draws on the rich history of writing about walking in this sonorous and attentive collection. . . . These poems get into the body, tuning the reader’s attention to Swenson’s long, steadily percussive lines.”—Publishers Weekly

On Walking On looks outward onto—or rather, walks through—the work of various writers for whom walking was or is an important element of daily life. The number of writers who were or are serious walkers is striking, and the connection goes back to antiquity, more recently including Woolf, Nerval, Sand, Debord, Sebald, and many others.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Whether she’s contemplating cats and the creative process, language and landscapes, or centuries of fleeting yet extraordinary moments, Swensen remains an adept observer and a master of striking forms and line breaks.”—Briana Shemroske, Booklist

“Were one asked to list philosophical poets, Swensen’s name might not come immediately to mind, but her investigations into the phenomenology of perception have that same power good philosophy does: she turns the reader’s assumptions inside out, as gently as she can, and shows them the sun.”—Paul Scott Stanfield, Ploughshares

“The collection presents Swensen’s own “walk-about” poetic excursions alongside her sequential micro-essays on writers who also wrote about walking, forming an overlay of literary gems on this topic. Ending with a bibliography of allusions in the collection—essayists, novelists, philosophers, architects, and cultural critics who once published on the topics of psychogeography and wandering, whether urban or rural—the book’s overall effect is kaleidoscopic yet coherent in its lucid typologies of walking, indicative of a poet’s intuition for an eclecticism beyond the avenues of persuasion that a philosopher might pursue on a similar theme.”—Karen An-hwei Lee, The Kenyon Review

“Swensen’s exquisitely rendered images, unexpected syntax, and surprising line breaks give us the feeling of something ‘delicate falling to pieces,’ while at the same time, in its falling, ‘perfecting the scene.’”—Robert Fernandez

COLE SWENSEN is the author of fifteen books of poetry, including Landscapes on a Train, and a book of essays, Noise That Stays Noise. Also a translator, she’s the founding editor of La Presse, dedicated to contemporary French work in translation. She is professor of Literary Arts at Brown University.

Tue, 15 May 2018 13:51:22 -0500