Things are Happening (APR Honickman 1st Book Prize)

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9780966339512: Things are Happening (APR Honickman 1st Book Prize)
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The inaugural winner of the annual American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Award.

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Joshua Beckman, winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize, is one of those poets whose work you mustn't miss. His talent shines in his ability to make disparate events become part of a whole. "Purple Heart Highway" constructs loss as imminent danger ("where a train might mistakenly come") or as the pendulum between routine and chaos ("a gray grinning calmness / from which you can get nothing to wake") or as a sudden realization that threads far back into one's past ("I woke up to a plate full of no options / echoing through the cupped ear of my life / spinning the wheels that wouldn't, / for anything, take me away").

In "Winter's Horizon" the theme of loss seeks--and finds--its own sensibilities. A boy writes a story about a father who rides off into the sunset on his riding lawnmower. The boy feels his story is full of meaning, his mother hates it, and his teacher gives it an A+. Yet the lines between fiction and fact, between father and son, and between desire and loss are only the thinnest membranes: "like an engine / steadily moving away / until it is a thin line / of reverberation / ...and its being gone / gives you a terrible sense / a terrible sense of completeness / a terrible sense that things like this / will continue to happen." --Susan Swartwout

From Library Journal:

Winner of a first book prize, this volume has surprisingly few of the flaws one would expect in a debut collection. The book contains only six longish poems, meditations and narrations told simply, directly, and with a rich sense of humor. In an elegy for poet David Avidan, after noting the disinterest of the world "at the news of your death," as children laugh and life goes on, Beckman continues: "the trees became sad,/ not all of them of course,/ but a few in every country,/ and they decided to skip summer/ and drop their leaves right then." "Purple Heart Highway" is a road trip, an adventure, and a love poem to the poet's car: "My car not up to snuff,/ putting along, bad knocking/ when I accelerate." In the end, a breakdownAand hope: "Cars move by and in their presence/ their bright red physicality/ I believe them to be the greatest/ smoothest, most natural things ever./ There is no one to tell me this/ but everything's going to be all right." Recommended.ALouis McKee, Painted Bride Arts Ctr., Philadelphia
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9780966339505: Things are Happening (APR Honickman 1st Book Prize)

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ISBN 10:  0966339509 ISBN 13:  9780966339505
Publisher: American Poetry Review, 1998
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Book Description American Poetry Review, United States, 1998. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Poetry. Winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize, this is the first book put out by the American Poetry Review, selected and with an introduction by Gerald Stern. Five long poems tell, among other things, my story, the bullfighter s story, Old Watermelon Hands s story, a father s story, a son s story, your story-our stories. What is certain is that the disappearance/of anything is dreadful, stuffed with anxiety./That the unbalanced life is far worse/than the good or bad lives./That the tragic and comic dreams/of falling and climbing/are more desirable than the dreams/of mirrors and puzzles (from Purple Heart Highway). Beckman s poems fall and climb, both thematically and formally. Joshua Beckman s line breaks: are the lines, sensations, account as if overlapping thrown forward as by a speaker who becomes breathless in the extension [of the sentence] sometimes to minute, concentrated platelets as extension by slight disparities.-Leslie Scalapino. If you were a scientist/you would understand things differently/the m. Seller Inventory # AAC9780966339512

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Book Description American Poetry Review, United States, 1998. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Poetry. Winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize, this is the first book put out by the American Poetry Review, selected and with an introduction by Gerald Stern. Five long poems tell, among other things, my story, the bullfighter s story, Old Watermelon Hands s story, a father s story, a son s story, your story-our stories. What is certain is that the disappearance/of anything is dreadful, stuffed with anxiety./That the unbalanced life is far worse/than the good or bad lives./That the tragic and comic dreams/of falling and climbing/are more desirable than the dreams/of mirrors and puzzles (from Purple Heart Highway). Beckman s poems fall and climb, both thematically and formally. Joshua Beckman s line breaks: are the lines, sensations, account as if overlapping thrown forward as by a speaker who becomes breathless in the extension [of the sentence] sometimes to minute, concentrated platelets as extension by slight disparities.-Leslie Scalapino. If you were a scientist/you would understand things differently/the m. Seller Inventory # AAC9780966339512

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