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A Letter to Serafin is a multi-paneled study of juxtapositions and duplicities, where history becomes a living entity, not just a shadowy artifact. Minczeski colors his lines with dark hues of wry comedy and sharp tones of pathos, transcending geography and time by providing testimony on behalf of those who no longer can. This is a vital book for anyone who has ever been transported by a piece of artwork, or haunted by a photograph that projects meaning beyond its borders. If the aim of poetry is to speak the unspeakable, then John Minczeski gives voice to all that goes unsaid between generations.
In “Foreword,” the opening poem of Clare Rossini’s new book, Lingo, the poet exclaims: “Don’t tell me the tongue’s / Not a magical place.” And who would argue the point after reading these poems in which the body and spirit of language bring such joy, from a toddler’s garbled imitations to the ripe lines of Shakespeare? Whether in the Midwest or New England, in elegies or celebrations, Rossini takes comfort in the miracle of words, where the homely and exotic can flourish at the same time, like the thought of flamingoes in Minnesota (“Rice County Soliloquy”). Rossini treats both the human and the natural world with tenderness and good-hearted humor, her wit and compassion as impressive as the bravura of plainspoken poetry. Out of such grace come the graceful poems of Lingo.
Map of the Folded World, John Gallaher's third full-length collection, examines the eros and desperation of suburban America with the precision of a cartographer's eye. But as its title suggests, it does so according to the polar opposite of convention. More concerned with subtext than narrative, often childlike in tone and propelled by the logic of innocence, Gallaher's poems don't shy away from a bottom-line sensibility: “If you can just run fast enough,” one poem offers, “no one will ever die. // Do you remember that? / And are you better now?” This is a book filled with swimming pools and bridges, houses and families, the ordinary places, objects, and people that connect us. However, these same things are often misunderstood when it comes to their capacity for danger. As Gallaher observes, “It doesn't really matter...what / you're drowning in, / once you realize you're drowning.” Map of the Folded World brings us back to a territory that we never knew we had discovered, as it attempts to locate an ever-shifting present on an ever-changing field.
In her first book, Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields, Ashley Capps sounds like the voice of a fresh generation of poets, where the familiar turns suddenly elliptical, straight talk goes engagingly crooked, and the lyric negotiates with the matter-of-fact. Desperate for something solid to believe in, Capps still mistrusts authority, feeling disenchanted with God, family, eros, even her own impulsive self. And yet while the absence of faith hints at despair, these poems often achieve, almost inspite of themselves, an odd buoyancy. Playful, fearless, wary, there's a dazzling resilience in this book. One poem can make a grand and eccentric claim, "I forgive the afterlife," while another takes as its title something humbler and more poisonous, "God Bless Our Crop-Dusted Wedding Cake." No matter how adrift this poet may feel, poetry itself remains her anchor and lifeline.
Advanced Solar Science, Proceedings of a Workshop held at Göttingen, September 27-29, 2006
An international workshop entitled: Modern Solar Facilities Advanced Solar Science was held in Göttingen from September 27 until September 29, 2006. The workshop, which was attended by 88 participants from 24 different countries, gave a broad overview of the current state of solar research, with emphasis on modern telescopes and techniques, advanced observational methods and results, and on modern theoretical methods of modelling, computation, and data reduction in solar physics. This book collects written versions of contributions that were presented at the workshop as invited or contributed talks, and as poster contributions.
Essays into Contemporary Poetics
The Monkey and the Wrench: Essays into Contemporary Poetics takes a snapshot of a moving target: the ever-shifting conversation about today's poetry. The ten essays in this collection offer reflections and insights, practical advice for craft matters, and provocative points of departure for those who read and write poetry. This series seeks to further the discussion of poetics in America and beyond, and to showcase the ideas of writers and critics with varied sensibilities. The first volume in the Akron Series in Contemporary Poetics, The Monkey & the Wrench, explores the debate over hybrid aesthetics, confronts the topic of contemporary rhyme, and ventures into the realm of persona and the mystical poem. This volume is ideal for both the classroom and the nightstand, for the poet's desk and the critic's bookshelf. Series editors Mary Biddinger and John Gallaher have assembled an eclectic collection that welcomes the reader into the conversation, while documenting the seismic activity of today's poetry world.
Four Sensational Cases in American History
Walter Hixson's pithy narrative account of four sensational murder cases---the Lizzie Borden, Lindbergh baby, Sam Sheppard, and O.J. Simpson trials---offers interesting observations into the greater cultural and political forces that shaped their verdicts. His step-by-step analysis of the details of each case provides not only insight by skillful synthesis of the existing literature but also a solid overview of the events surrounding these four cases, each of which became a national obsession as well as a miscarriage of justice. Taking a fresh look at the criminal justice system and the role of the media in the larger American milieu, Hixson delves into sociocultural impacts of crime that are both thought-provoking and fascinating reading.
Astronomers, Geometers, and Magicians of the Eastern Woodlands
Buried beneath today's Midwestern towns, under several layers of earth and the accumulated debris of two thousand years, are the clues to an ancient mystery. A Native American people, now known as the Hopewell, lived and worked these lands, building earthworks which in some instances dwarf the ruins at Stonehenge. More significantly, these mammoth earthworks were built in different geometric shapes, using a standard unit of measure and aligned to the cycles of the sun and the moon. Using the foundation of existing scholarship, Mysteries of the Hopewell presents new discoveries showing the accomplishments of the Mound Builders in astronomy, geometry, measurement, and counting. William Romain then goes one step further to theorize why generations of people toiled to move millions of tons of earth to form these precise structures, joining the ranks of the Egyptians, Mayans, Greeks, Chinese, and other advanced ancient cultures. William Romain's Mysteries of the Hopewell will appeal to many readers, including anthropologists, mathematicians, and historians, but perhaps especially to readers curious about ancient cultures and seeking explanations for these magnificent earthen structures.
Never Be the Horse depicts the world of a postmodern Dark Dorothy whose attempts to return home are foiled when she falls into the Garden of Eden, into the underworld with Walt Whitman, into mysterious versions of her own childhood. The poems evoke this nighttime within the self haunted by mythic and shadow-paradises--of home, homeland, the original garden--where "every story is made to hide / the others." Here, Adam slips on a piece of Eve's clothing, a child falls in love with the bomb, and a mourner watching the whores chased from the cemetery laments. It is also a world of erotic disguises. Still, it remains recognizably this world. The parent lies to the child about death, and the child lies to the parent about death. In the journey between those lies, as in the journey taken by the horse of the title, language becomes the place of refuge. It is there that "one world is always beginning." From "willingness . . . speaking its motherese," to the devil's "gossamer gibber," the voices in these poems discover that to be human is, as Heidegger said, "to be a conversation."