By Timothy Donnelly
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
ISBN# 9781940696492 (5.75 x 9 208pp, paperback)
ISBN# 9781940696485 (5.75 x 9 208pp, limited edition hardcover)
If The Cloud Corporation is, as John Ashbery called it, “the poetry of the future, here, today,” then Timothy Donnelly’s third collection, The Problem of the Many, is the poetry of the future yet further pressed to the end of history. In astonishingly textured poems powerful and adroit in their negotiation of a seeming totality of human experience, Donnelly confronts—from a contemporary vantage point—the clutter (and devastation) that civilization has left us with, enlisting agents as far flung as Prometheus, Flaming Hot Cheetos, Jonah, NyQuil, and, especially, Alexander the Great.
Donnelly’s eye traces satellite images and contortions of fire above a refinery, while using deadpan humor with equal vividness. From gut flora to galaxies, these poems offer glimpses “that waver like air above lit candles,” restoring meaning to the world in the process.
Timothy Donnelly is the author of The Problem of the Many (Wave Books, forthcoming 2019), The Cloud Corporation (Wave Books, 2010), which won the 2012 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and Twenty-seven Props for a Production of Eine Lebenszeit (Grove, 2003). His chapbook Hymn to Life was recently published by Factory Hollow Press and with John Ashbery and Geoffrey G. O’Brien he is the co-author of Three Poets published by Minus A Press in 2012. He is a recipient of The Paris Review’s Bernard F. Conners Prize and the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award as well as fellowships from the New York State Writers Institute and the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He is Director of Poetry in the Writing Program at Columbia University’s School of the Arts and lives in Brooklyn with his family.