Headwaters: Poems (Paperback)

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Description


“Luminous. . . . Each reading reveals the tug of opposites, and in this tension the poet shows her brilliance.”—Library Journal, starred review


Rash yet tender, chastened yet lush, Headwaters is a book of opposites, a book of wild abandon by one of the most formally exacting poets of our time. Animals populate its pages—owl, groundhog, fox, each with its own inimitable survival skills—and the poet who so meticulously observes their behaviors has accumulated a lifetime’s worth of skills herself: she too has survived. The power of these extraordinary poems lies in their recognition that all our experience is ultimately useless—that human beings are at every moment beginners, facing the earth as if for the first time. "Don’t you think I’m doing better," asks the first poem. "You got sick you got well you got sick," says the last.

Eschewing punctuation, forgoing every symmetry, the poems hurl themselves forward, driven by an urgent need to speak. Headwaters is a book of wisdom that refuses to be wise, a book of fresh beginnings by an American poet writing at the height of her powers.



About the Author


Ellen Bryant Voigt is the author of volumes of poetry, including Shadow of Heaven, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Messenger, a finalist for the National Book Award and for the Pulitzer Prize. Voigt was awarded the O. B. Hardison, Jr. Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Merrill Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, where she was subsequently elected a chancellor. Her poems have appeared in an array of national journals and anthologies, including The Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry. She lives in Vermont and teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Praise For…


Starred Review. Voigt’s…eighth collection of poetry is defined by a liquid precision.

Extraordinary. . . . A monument to the conscious mind’s compulsion to
order and interpret a chaotic world.
— Maria Hummel

These tough, wryly funny, wise, and poignant lyrics erode sorrow and
embrace adaptation . . . without denying beauty or love.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393350005
ISBN-10: 0393350002
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: December 1st, 2014
Pages: 64
Language: English