By Dara Wier
Publication Date: September 1, 2009
ISBN# 9781933517384 (5.5x8.25 224pp, trade hardcover)
A major retrospective that will stand as an indispensable record of turn-of-the-millennium poetry.
Encompassing work from 1977 through 2006, Selected Poems reflects—while transcending—American poetry over the last thirty years, from early lyric poems to the complex enthrallment of poems in more recent volumes. Selected Poems confirms Dara Wier as one of contemporary poetry’s most important voices.
Ups and downs, uneven passions and sometimes apparently random associations are the paradoxical constant in this first Selected from Wier (Remnants of Hannah), drawn (without new work) on eight published books of short poems... Such poems are not whimsies but quizzical visions, or dreams, in which readers might try hard to get lost.
Prepare to dig into these poems, read them twice, three times if necessary. That kind of commitment from the reader will pay off with poems resonating throughout the days to follow.
Michael Lee, ForeWord Reviews
[Wier’s] poems often move by accrual and accrue insights and ironies to reach moments of surprising knowledge and vision. Wier’s surreal is a clearer mirror than most straight-on descriptions or linear narrative... One can recognize the darkness here, just as we are grateful for Wier’s sentences, syntax, and words. Her directed and charged language is a reminder of how vital and vivid poetry can be.
Wier’s use of repetition and variation and her attention to language itself suggests that one never steps in the same proverbial river, one never uses the same word, and therefore, one is never the same self... in denying a clear conclusion, [Wier’s poems] sustain possibilities and, by extension, sustain us as Wier’s poems sustain us...
Jordan Sanderson, The Hollins Critic, Vol. XLVI, No. 4
Lovechild of temple and cabinet of wonders, world-size Cornell box with moving parts and optional glass, Wier’s Selected Poems unsurprisingly grows stranger and lovelier the longer one lives in it.
Michael Snediker, Jacket
Much of [Wier’s] imagining involves physical sensation, tactility recalling the nineteenth-century rural English poet John Clare, to whom Wier pays tribute. Wier’s warm touch belies her procedural cunning and post-confessional derring-do, making her Selected Poems required reading for a new generation of poets--not only for its own abundance of merits, but also as a counterpoint to the swath of theory-driven, reader-alienating poetries that threaten to define, for better or for worse, this era.
Virginia Konchan, Boston Review
Wier’s poems have an eidetic quality of image; they pass through the mind like ghosts in drag, elegant and unexpected. They resist the nothingness of abstraction, even as they abstract.
Dara Wier is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including In the Still of the Night (forthcoming from Wave Books, 2017) You Good Thing (Wave Books, 2013), Selected Poems (Wave Books, 2009), Remnants of Hannah (Wave Books, 2006), Reverse Rapture (Verse Press, 2005, 2006 SFSU Poetry Center Book Award), Hat On a Pond (Verse Press, 2002), and Voyages in English (Carnegie Mellon, 2001). Also among her works are the limited editions (X In Fix) in Rain Taxi’s Brainstorm Series, Fly on the Wall (Oat City Press), and The Lost Epic, co-written with James Tate (Waiting for Godot Books, 1999). Her poetry has been supported by fellowships and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the American Poetry Review. In 2005 she held the Rubin Distinguished Chair at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.
Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Conduit, Denver Quarterly, The Fairytale Review, Hollins Critic, jubilat, New American Writing, slope and Volt, among other magazines.
She teaches workshops and form and theory seminars at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and co-directs the University of Massachusetts’ Juniper Initiative for Literary Arts and Action. Each June she teaches a poetry workshop for the Juniper Summer Institute. Her editing work includes publishing limited edition chapbooks and broadsides with Factory Hollow Press, North Amherst, Massachusetts, a small independent press she co-edits with Emily Pettit and Guy Pettit. Along with James Haug and James Tate she has edited the University of Massachusetts Press Juniper Series for poetry.
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