Something I Expected to be Different

By Joshua Beckman
Publication Date: May 1, 2001

ISBN# 9780970367242 (5.5x8.5 72pp, paperback)

  • Did you see my eyes darting. Did you hear me
    repeating, yes every word you said.

    Of Beckman’s second collection, Tomaž Šalamun writes: “There are no similarities with Apollinaire or Ginsberg, except with what they were doing to Time while they were young.”

  • Through repetition, rhythm, and a pervasively taut but accessible voice, Beckman sweeps us through his poems. On the way, we cover a lot of ground: the cost of living, the cost of books, love, regret, William Carlos Williams (whose socio-critical influence here is unmistakable), Hart Crane, Williamsburg, Manhattan, loss, and the transformation of world travel into a consumer's game are among the subjects by turns bemoaned, romanticized, and confronted in the pages of this book.
    Max Winter, Rain Taxi

    Joshua Beckman is a sturdy younger poet. He can be seen treading the streets of New York City and reading from clutches of pages in crowded smoky downtown bars. His second book, Something I Expected to Be Different, is occupied with characters as familiar as friends, floating outside of their own bodies on the surfaces of summer lakes as they float outside of their own experiences in memory; his long projective lines, alternating with tighter sculptured stanzas, allow warmer winds and longer rivers to wind through them...Beckman’s poems flow out from a long American tradition beginning with Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass through Carl Sandburg’s Chicago Poems to Charles Olson’s Maximus poems and Allen Ginsberg’s Fall of America, even, perhaps strangely, the columnar iconographic gestures of Concrete poets like Ian Hamilton Finlay, overlaid onto otherwise buoyant lines. The reader is startled to find herself weightless but also anchored in many regions concurrently...America and its readers are lucky to have him.
    Ernest Hilbert, BoldType

    Attempting to reclaim money worries and heartbreak from the grip of pop songs, Beckman's follow-up to the APR/Honnickman-winning debut Things Are Happening ardently investigates the hapless repetitions of being young and coming into contact with other people, and of writing.
    Publishers Weekly

  • Joshua Beckman was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He is the author of nine books, including The Inside of an AppleTake It, Shake, Your Time Has Come, and two collaborations with Matthew Rohrer: Nice Hat. Thanks. and Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. He is an editor at Wave Books and has translated numerous works of poetry and prose, including Micrograms, by Jorge Carrera Andrade, 5 Meters of Poems (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010) by Carlos Oquendo de Amat and Poker (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2008) by Tomaž Šalamun, which was a finalist for the PEN America Poetry in Translation Award. Most recently, he has co-edited Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners (Wave Books, 2015). He is also the recipient of numerous other awards, including a NYFA fellowship and a Pushcart Prize. He lives in Seattle and New York.

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