By Joshua Beckman
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
ISBN# 9781940696423 (6x8.5; The Lives of the Poems: 80pp, Three Talks: 72pp; paperback)
During 2014, Wave Books editor Joshua Beckman traveled around the country giving lectures on poetry. Collected here as two books in conversation—and inaugurating Wave’s Bagley Wright Lecture Series publications—these talks provide a rare and unique insight into a deeply literary life. In The Lives of the Poems, Beckman offers three variations of the same talk that—through repetition and adjustment, a sort of echolocating—illuminate the intimate experience of making a particular set of poems. In Three Talks, he explores the fluid social dynamics of poetry as it lives between readers, poems, and books.
Beckman traces the development of his ideas, many accompanied by images of long-hand edits, and gives his audience not only insight into making a poem, but the hope that they, too, can make a poem.
Valerie Wieland, NewPages
Beckman’s talks and poetry are based on what he perceives spontaneously in things when they are encountered in the moment – and his confidence in doing so, despite his illness, does not allow for a tragic sensibility. If poetry is an art that expresses unease at the limitations of institutionalized thought and operates among neighbors who have lost a feel for the totality of human experience, it is also the memory of that loss and works to reestablish contact with the actual.
Ron Slate, On the Seawall
Joshua Beckman was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He is the author of many books, including The Lives of the Poems and 3 Talks (Wave Books, forthcoming 2018), The Inside of an Apple, Take 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 editor-in-chief 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. He also co-edited Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners (Wave Books, 2015).
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