Hardback
October 10, 2023
9780819500830
English
80
1 halftone
10.00 Inches (US)
7.00 Inches (US)
$28.00 USD, £20.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
October 10, 2023
9780819500847
English
80
1 halftone
10.00 Inches (US)
7.00 Inches (US)
$16.95 USD, £12.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Ruins of Nostalgia

New work from one of the most compelling and transformative writers of the contemporary prose poem

What is it to feel nostalgia, to be skeptical of it yet cleave intently to the complex truths of feeling and thought? In a series of 64 gorgeous, ramifying, unsettling prose poems addressing late-twentieth- and twenty-first century experience and its discontents, The Ruins of Nostalgia offers a strikingly original exploration of the misunderstood phenomenon of nostalgia as both feeling-state and historical phenomenon. Each poem, also titled The Ruins of Nostalgia, is a kind of lyrical mini-essay, playful, passionate, analytic. Some poems take a location, memory, conceit, or object as their theme. Throughout the series, the poems recognize and celebrate the nostalgias they ironize, which are in turn celebrated and then ironized again. Written often in the fictional persona of the first-person plural, The Ruins of Nostalgia explores the rich territory where individual response meets a collective phenomenon.


[sample poem]

The Ruins of Nostalgia 13
Where once there had been a low-end stationery store minded by an elderly beauty queen, there was now a store for high-end espresso machines minded by nobody. Where once there had been an illegal beer garden in a weedy lot, there was now a complex of luxury lofts with Parisian-style ivory façades. Where once there had been a bookstore and a bike shop and a bakery, there was now a wax museum for tourists. Where once there had been an empty lot there was now a building. Where once there had been an empty lot there was now a building. Where once there had been an empty lot there was now a building. Where once there had been an empty lot there was now a building. Where once there had been farms there were now subdivisions. Where once there had been subdivisions there were now sub-subdivisions. We lived in a sub-subdivision of a subdivision. We ourselves had become subdivided—where once we had merely been of two minds. * Where once there had been a river there was now a road. A vocal local group had started a movement to break up the road and "daylight" the river, which still flowed, in the dark, underneath the road. * Could we daylight the farms, the empty lots, the stationery store, the elderly beauty queen, the city we moved to? Was it still flowing somewhere, under the luxury lofts, deliquescing in the dark, inhabited by our luxury selves, not yet subdivided, because not yet whole? * Could we daylight the ruins of nostalgia?

About the Author

DONNA STONECIPHER (Berlin, Germany) is a poet and translator with an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She is the author of six books of poetry including The Reservoir, The Cosmopolitan, Model City, and Transaction Histories, which the New York Times named a top ten collection of 2018.

Endorsements

"This deeply intelligent book is a work of emotional and intellectual archeology revealing the changes wrought on two cities by the not-so-invisible hand of the market. Reading it, we see a bit of what Benjamin's Angel of History must see as he is blown backwards into the future."—Rae Armantrout, author of Finalists

"'The ruins of nostalgia': a spur, a goad, a refrain, an environment, a mode of critique and homage. Stonecipher offers here both a hauntology and a melancholy celebration. This is also a sly and funny book, a brilliant new chapter in her distinctive, resonant lyrico-critical project. Stonecipher is the most compelling and transformative writer of the contemporary prose poem in English. Anecdote, vignette, ekphrasis, earworm, micro-essay, satire, incantation, griefwork: all here. This book cements Stonecipher's singular status as a poetic archaeologist and chronicler of our modernity."—Maureen N. McLane, author of My Poets
Wesleyan University Press
Wesleyan Poetry Series

9780819500830 : the-ruins-of-nostalgia-stonecipher
Hardback
October 10, 2023
$28.00 USD
9780819500847 : the-ruins-of-nostalgia-stonecipher
Paperback / softback
October 10, 2023
$16.95 USD

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