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The Taken-Down God
Selected Poems 1997-2008
Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, American, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (144 pages)
(Pub. May 2013)
Acclaimed as one of America’s most passionate and intelligent innovators, Jorie Graham writes poems of luminous formal beauty. Here she selects from the five books that preceded her 2012 Forward Prize-winning collection P L A C E, presenting European readers with a coherent and compelling body of work. The book complements her Pulitzer Prize-winning The Dream of the Unified Field (1996), which selected work from her first five books. Jorie Graham’s poems address a planet spinning towards an unknowable future. They challenge us to inhabit a more responsive and responsible place in language and the world. Her poetry is as urgent as it is essential.
from The Errancy (1997)
The Guardian Angel of the Little Utopia
The Guardian Angel of Self-Knowledge
That Greater Than Which Nothing
Studies in Secrecy
Le Manteau de Pascal
Recovered from the Storm
Of the Ever-Changing Agitation in the Air
from Swarm (2000)
from The Reformation Journal (1)
Prayer (after Hölderlin)
from The Reformation Journal (2)
from Never (2002)
Dusk Shore Prayer
Evolution [One’s nakedness is very slow]
Evolution [How old are you?]
from Overlord (2005)
Dawn Day One
Praying (Attempt of May 9 ’03)
Praying (Attempt of June 14 ’03)
Spoken from the Hedgerows
Praying (Attempt of April 19 ’04)
from Sea Change (2008)
Later in Life
The Violinist at the Window, 1918
No Long Way Round
Awards won by Jorie Graham Short-listed, 2020 The Neustadt International Prize for Literature
(Fast) Winner, 2018 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry (Fast) Winner, 2012 Forward Prize for Best Collection (PLACE) Winner, 2017 Wallace Stevens Award for Lifetime Achievement Commended, 2017 Poetry Book Society Recommendation.
(Fast) Winner, 1996 Pulitzer Prize
(The Dream of the Unified Field) Short-listed, 2012 T S Eliot Prize () Short-listed, 2012 Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection ()
Praise for Jorie Graham 'Attempting to comment briefly on this visionary commotion is like trying to capture thunder and lightning in a bottle... This is a world beyond humanity, beyond nature, beyond culture, and yet amid the ruins there is the undeniable triumph and power of poetic utterance'
Rachel Hadas, Times Literary Supplement
'From its opening page until its final lines, Graham''s 15th collection of poetry has the heightened urgency of a young writer's debut. True to its title, it hurtles forward. Poems pour forth, frothing and pooling and threatening, at times, to overflow their banks...Runaway feels as though it has been written for right now, especially as we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, but also for a target audience that might emerge 100 years on...'
Jeff Gordinier, New York Times
'Sweeping lines and fractured phrases, ampersands and italics, lines unexpectedly justified right: all of these wake us up to 'the freshness of what's / there.'
Fiona Sampson, The Guardian
'Runaway, Jorie Graham's expansive new book, insistently tunes us to the human urgency for wholeness, for the meanings of embodiment in a time when some of us/are murdered, and some of have mouths that keep saying yes.'
Forrest Gander, New York Times
'Even when these poems are at their darkest and most purposefully incoherent in terms of voice and tone, there remains a trace of language's ability to seek out, transmit and make visible the impact of the world on the self for others to experience.'
'The reason that poets are addicted to poetry and they write it for a lifetime, is because a poem will permit you to go through life and have an experience you can't have by any other means.'
Jorie Graham talking to Ian McMillan on Radio 3's The Verb, 15 December 2017
'Another striking book from Jorie Graham, and one that frequently reaches fever-pitch in its frantic explosion of the lyric mode. Graham's themes in these poems -ranging through sickness, death and environmental crises -would rattle any reader, and her long lines, clamouring fragments and sprawling chorus of voices increase this effect to a dramatic extent. These are urgent, stressed and stressful poems that produce a panicked motion-sickness as you spiral through them. This is an important, desperate and, at times, frightening, book that truly captures the tone of contemporary times.'
The Poetry School Books of the Year 2017
'In FAST, [Graham's] subject is mortality - her own (she was diagnosed with cancer five years ago), her parents', that of intellect and culture (in dementia, in digital overwhelm), that of the planet. It is a collection of sensual poems so urgent that, by the end, they have abandoned traditional beginnings and are physically bunched up on the right-hand side of the page. And through it all, an unwavering, serious belief in the power of poetry, a repeatedly inhabited rejection of Auden's assertion that poetry makes nothing happen.'
'Fast might immerse us in monstrous acts of environmental and political violence, our obsession with progress, money, and our own individualistic, virtual worlds, but what still succeeds is the wish to live on. Perhaps if we were to listen to that wish we might, amongst all the acceleration, stop and think again.'
- The London Magazine
'We should be grateful to Jorie Graham for her own heroics of perception, even if they show up our ordinary insight. If we can't see, with Graham, "the spots where the birds must eventually land", at least we know now where we should be looking.'
Gwyneth Lewis, Times Literary Supplement. 'Graham's best book in at least a decade.'
Publishers Weekly 'The poems in Jorie Graham's Sea Change might look unapproachable but they are models of clarity and purity.'
Nicola Smyth, 'Books of the Year', the Independent, 28 December 2008
'There are erotic poems, elegiac poems, and there are dauntingly difficult, allusive and even impenetrable poems. Throughout there is a powerful, engaging intelligence and an affirming lyric grace.'
Stephen Matterson on The Errancy, in Poetry Ireland Review, vol. 62
The Carcanet Blog Winter Recipes from the Collective: Louise Glck read more 100 Days: Gabriel Josipovici read more Stop the clock: 50 Years of Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange read more PN Review 261: Editorial read more Cordially Yours: Tristram Fane Saunders on Edna St Vincent Millay read more the clarity of distant things: Jane Duran read more
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