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The earliest witnesses - G. C. Waldrep

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Title
The earliest witnesses
Author
G. C. Waldrep
format
Paperback / softback
Publisher
Carcanet Poetry
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20210128

This is how the witness ends: touch, withdraw; touch again.

'American Goshawk', the opening poem in this collection, concludes with these words. The word 'witness' comes with a wealth of meanings. The poems are, at one level, acute observations of the world in its physical and dramatic detail. But eye and ear detect, in what is there, shadows and figures of what is beyond, what imparts to the things perceived their deeper form, significance and beauty. Such seeing is a craft, a form of translation that engages not just the surface but the essence of what is seen, what the poet calls 'eye-proofs of the epiphenomenal world'. The ophthalmologist in 'A Mystic's Guide to Arches' keeps asking, 'Can you see this?' And we can, seeing it more fully each time we re-read the poem and the separate things configure into a single, powerful seeing. Language obscures - until it releases what it names to the senses.

The Earliest Witnesses is G.C. Waldrep's British debut.

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G.C. Waldrep is the author most recently of the collection feast gently (Tupelo, 2018), winner of the 2019 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and a long poem, Testament (BOA Editions, 2015). Waldrep's poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, APR, Paris Review, New England Review, New American Writing, Harper's, Tin House, Conjunctions, and many other journals in the USA and abroad, as well as in the Best American Poetry anthology series and the second edition of Norton's Postmodern American Poetry. With Ilya Kaminsky he co-edited Homage to Paul Celan (Marick, 2011) and with Joshua Corey he co-edited The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral (Ahsahta, 2012). Waldrep's work has received prizes from the Poetry Society of America and the Academy of American Poets as well as the Colorado Prize, the Dorset Prize, the Campbell Corner Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, a Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative American Writing, and a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Literature. He lives in Lewisburg, PA., where he teaches at Bucknell University and edits the journal West Branch. From 2007 to 2018 he served as Editor-at-Large for The Kenyon Review.

'Waldrep's poems sing with a metaphysics and lyricism that is distinctly original and fiercely sublime.'
Publishers Weekly

Type
BOOK
Country of Publication
England
Number of Pages
144

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