Hardback
April 2, 2013
9780819572691
English
236
2 illus.
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.1 Pounds (US)
$30.00 USD, £23.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
August 12, 2013
9780819573636
English
2 illus.
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$23.99 USD, £18.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Spells

New and Selected Poems

Annie Finch's Spells brings together her most memorable and striking poems written over forty years. Finch's uniquely mysterious voice moves through the book, revealing insights on the classic themes of love, spirituality, death, nature, and the patterns of time. A feminist and pagan, Finch writes poems as "spells" that bring readers to experience words not just in the mind, but in the body. Celebrated for her extraordinary love and knowledge of poetic craft, over the course of her career Finch has shaped her own innovative and radically traditional aesthetic. Her strange but familiar metrical language decenters the Self, creating a new, more open emotional relationship between ourselves, other people, and the world. Spells displays Finch's virtuosity in a broad range of genres and forms, from lyrics, chants, and narrative poems to performance pieces, poetic drama, and verse translation. The book also includes a number of new and previously unpublished poems, notably her 1980s-era "Lost Poems," experimental work in meter that prefigures postmodern reclamations of poetic form. This wonderfully talented poet gives voice to the female and earth-centered spirituality of our era. Her emotionally eloquent and rhetorically powerful work will echo in the reader's ear long after the book is closed. Check for the online reader's companion at http://spells.site.wesleyan.edu.

About the Author

ANNIE FINCH is a professor of English and director of the Stonecoast MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. She is the author of five books of poetry, including Calendars.

Reviews

"Finch's ambition and optimism about that re-emerging matriarchal culture is everywhere evident in this collection; there is a strong sense of female identity in these poems, as well as an evidently committed engagement with the work of other women writers visible in her translations from the work of Anna Akhmatova and the French Renaissance poet Louise Labé. Finch has comprehensively raided the myth kitty, re-examining female roles in classical myth or the Judeo-Christian myth of origins... In evidence throughout this volume is Finch's passionate involvement with the nuts and bolts of poetic craft, her abiding fascination with the variety of poetic form and metre. This forms a pleasingly intuitive harmony with the mythological interests detailed above. The rigours of metre, of patterned speech, connect, Finch seems to be implying, to something ancient in the human psyche; as she puts it, 'patterned language that invites readers to experience words not just in the mind but in the body.' ... Spells bears witness to a considerable body of work and an impressive commitment to the traditions of poetry across a poetic career that pans four decades."—Caitriona O'Reilly, Poetry Salzburg Review

"An exuberant exposition of Annie Finch's accomplishment as a poet of craft, humor, myth, intimacy and of the natural world."—Marilyn Hacker, chancellor, Academy of American Poets

"Whenever I get discouraged about some trends in contemporary poetry I think of Annie Finch, a shining light, and I feel better."—Carolyn Kizer

"Annie Finch is an American original, a master of control who shows no fear of excess, and none of quietness either. With a perfect-pitch ear for the American tongue, she is a formalist as much in the tradition of Robert Duncan and Bernadette Mayer as of Hart Crane and John Berryman. The directness and simplicity of her poems are deceptive –they have depths and delights that appear to go on forever. We haven't had a poet so capable of combining control and excess since the young Robert Duncan."—Ron Silliman

"Annie Finch understands better than any contemporary I know what poetry feels like and sounds like when it is completely at home in its traditions. . . . She is a major poet, one of very few who understand how lyric lives in part because it can speak for something larger than the ego."—Charles Altieri, University of California, Berkeley

"Finch's ambition and optimism about that re-emerging matriarchal culture is everywhere evident in this collection; there is a strong sense of female identity in these poems, as well as an evidently committed engagement with the work of other women writers visible in her translations from the work of Anna Akhmatova and the French Renaissance poet Louise Labé. Finch has comprehensively raided the myth kitty, re-examining female roles in classical myth or the Judeo-Christian myth of origins In evidence throughout this volume is Finch's passionate involvement with the nuts and bolts of poetic craft, her abiding fascination with the variety of poetic form and metre. This forms a pleasingly intuitive harmony with the mythological interests detailed above. The rigours of metre, of patterned speech, connect, Finch seems to be implying, to something ancient in the human psyche; as she puts it, 'patterned language that invites readers to experience words not just in the mind but in the body.' Spells bears witness to a considerable body of work and an impressive commitment to the traditions of poetry across a poetic career that pans four decades."—Caitriona O'Reilly, Poetry Salzburg Review

"Annie Finch has devoted her career to opening up the poetry world to a greater diversity of formal traditions, and Spells is a high-spirited and expansive selection of her finest work in many of these forms."—Debra Bruce, Fifth Wednesday

Endorsements

"An exuberant exposition of Annie Finch's accomplishment as a poet of craft, humor, myth, intimacy and of the natural world."—Marilyn Hacker, chancellor, Academy of American Poets

"Annie Finch understands better than any contemporary I know what poetry feels like and sounds like when it is completely at home in its traditions. . . . She is a major poet, one of very few who understand how lyric lives in part because it can speak for something larger than the ego."—Charles Altieri, University of California, Berkeley

"Annie Finch is an American original, a master of control who shows no fear of excess, and none of quietness either. With a perfect-pitch ear for the American tongue, she is a formalist as much in the tradition of Robert Duncan and Bernadette Mayer as of Hart Crane and John Berryman. The directness and simplicity of her poems are deceptive –they have depths and delights that appear to go on forever. We haven't had a poet so capable of combining control and excess since the young Robert Duncan."—Ron Silliman

"Whenever I get discouraged about some trends in contemporary poetry I think of Annie Finch, a shining light, and I feel better."—Carolyn Kizer
Wesleyan University Press
Wesleyan Poetry Series

9780819572691 : spells-finch
Hardback
236 Pages
$30.00 USD
9780819573636 : spells-finch
Electronic book text
$23.99 USD

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The Poetry Witch Little Book of Spells

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