By Rodney Koeneke
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
ISBN# 9781933517810 (5.75 x 9, 96pp, trade paper)
ISBN# 9781933517827 (5.75 x 9, 96pp, limited edition hardcover)
Etruria is a diverse collection of poems featuring found language, ancient Latin, sitcom stars, even Marianne Moore, unified by a threading of ideas and meditations that span the ancient and contemporary. There is a pleasure found in these deep and engaging poems, and readers will find themselves returning to their favorites again and again.
The naturalness of Koeneke's essayistic explorations and his adept weaving of disparate sources make this an engaging, thoughtful, and consistently surprising collection.
How refreshing; culturally grounded poems as if culture mattered.
Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
In a sequence of poems that at turns feel conversational (almost in the “I did this, I did that” way of Frank O’Hara), Koeneke’s Etruria is composed around and through a series of ideas. He manages the form of the poem as a way to work through considerations of the world in short essay-like meanderings.
Here is a preternatural social sensibility that remains poignant even as it confronts what today passes for the sentimental; here is an elegant figural technique that never disappoints.
Judith Goldman, Drunken Boat
This is Koeneke's most earnest and sincere work... The writing follows a chatty and elegantly long line of bright, honest thought. If, as the title poem offers, from loss comes a new vernacular, then Etruria is a guidebook for how to build beautiful and resilient language (and thus, life?) from vacancy.
Alli Warren, The Poetry Project Newsletter
[Etruria] joints the marrow and bone of the quotidian details of love and language with a sort of ancient-futurism. Koeneke charts memory like a cartographer whose instruments were crowd-sourced: his voice is familiar.
"Rodney Koeneke continues to be a marvel with his inventive, faux narrative, post confessional/ pseudo conversational set ups...Koeneke follows a winding trajectory that imitates life while conjuring philosophic mediations. Totally au courant with poetic inclusions of such current institutions as Flickr, Google, blogs. His impressive lexicon is culled from myriad sources…Here you'll find and an easy alliance between shimmering texture and a disarming persona. Koeneke mixes it up into a frothy frappacini of bon mots and intimate asides topped with a spicy sprinkle of romantic chutzpah."
Jeffrey Cyphers Wright, Goodreads
Like I secretly took drugs on Thanksgiving and am sitting next to a friendly, very normal cousin whose every utterance suddenly seems freaky.
Daniel Handler, Huffington Post
Rodney Koeneke is author of the poetry collections Body & Glass (Wave Books, 2018), Etruria (Wave Books, 2014), Musee Mechanique (BlazeVOX, 2006), and Rouge State (Pavement Saw, 2003). An early member of the Flarf collective, he was active in the San Francisco Bay Area poetry scene until 2006, when he moved to Portland, Oregon where he teaches in the History Department at Portland State University.
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