My Soviet Union: Poems (Juniper Prize for Poetry)

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9781558495852: My Soviet Union: Poems (Juniper Prize for Poetry)

The speaker of the simultaneously funny and devastating poems in this remarkable first collection comes from a country that, like the Soviet Union, no longer exists, a place he treats with a mixture of nostalgia, disdain, and bewilderment as he strives to achieve a sense of order in his current disordered environment, a post-apocalyptic landscape with striking similarities to our own. He takes the reader through haunting and disjunctive childhood memories, on visits to Azerbaijan and West Des Moines, through the ravages of physical and spiritual illness, into and out of wars and ill-fated romantic escapades, as he carefully pieces together a complex narrative of self.This is a book of location and dis-location, intent and inaction, struggle and failure, restraint and mania, love and anger, savagery and healing, grief and merriment, elegy and ode. Technically, the poems-often litanies-are marked by syntactical variation, recurring imagery, paradoxical statement, cultural idioms, shifts between high and low diction, a carnivalesque sense of humor, and an elliptical approach to exposition. The speaker also takes on the identities of various personae in the book, including Joseph Cornell, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Pol Pot, a vaudevillian, a movie extra, minor dictators, vagrants, ambigendered lovers, and a lighthouse keeper on an uninhabited island.

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From the Back Cover:

"My Soviet Union is a remarkable album of dark vaudeville and assured verbal performances. Its speakers are a host of desperate comedians at the edge of history, making do and making jokes in the ruins of empire. The spirits of Joseph Cornell, Mayakovsky, and Buster Keaton seem to ventriloquize the earthly, troublesome body of one Michael Dumanis, a haunted citizen born in a country that no longer exists, standing before us in a confluence of phrases that are themselves a sort of nation: crazed, American, beautiful, a giddy torrent of comedy and sorrow."--Mark Doty

"Michael Dumanis's My Soviet Union is a book in which history meets compassion, in which bleak nostalgia meets a confused and beautiful present. Dumanis's poems of `identity' are also poems of similitude--he is a poet comfortable in parable and allegory, a poet of great lyric gifts and expressive range, a poet who delights with linguistic experimentations and hybrids. My Soviet Union is truly a dazzling launch."--Denise Duhamel

"Michael Dumanis, like cummings, is a bold romantic inventor, an ironist who anticipates abstract states as naturally as a wayward child imagines recess, but his poems also relish the quotidian, and his unspoken sources are the often grim politics of adulthood. Though his poems wear many masks, his central presence is unwavering freshness. Dumanis is a poet we need badly, who brings to every line both a respect for dailiness and a near absolute imaginative fidelity. Read My Soviet Union ; then read it again."--Rodney Jones

"My Soviet Union is indeed a union: of uncommon music and a kind of changeling language, so that we're never sure if we're clutching a wrist or a wrench, gazing at gauze or at Lillian Gish. The effect of this pas de deux is sublime. For sublime poetry, Longinus asserted, leaves more food in the mind than the words convey on first encounter. Dumanis brings together a feast of various small countries of the imagination. He assembles them into a grand union. He dismantles them. He gives us passages to love and passages to love--yes, you'll want to read everything at least two ways. And, more often, more."--D. A. Powell

About the Author:

Michael Dumanis was born in the former Soviet Union and lived there until his parents were granted political asylum in the United States. He holds a BA from Johns Hopkins, an MFA from the University of Iowa, and a PhD from the University of Houston. Currently an assistant professor of English at Nebraska Wesleyan University, he is coeditor of the anthology Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century.

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Book Description University of Massachusetts Press, United States, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The speaker of the simultaneously funny and devastating poems in this remarkable first collection comes from a country that, like the Soviet Union, no longer exists, a place he treats with a mixture of nostalgia, disdain, and bewilderment as he strives to achieve a sense of order in his current disordered environment, a post-apocalyptic landscape with striking similarities to our own. He takes the reader through haunting and disjunctive childhood memories, on visits to Azerbaijan and West Des Moines, through the ravages of physical and spiritual illness, into and out of wars and ill-fated romantic escapades, as he carefully pieces together a complex narrative of self. This is a book of location and dislocation, intent and inaction, struggle and failure, restraint and mania, love and anger, savagery and healing, grief and merriment, elegy and ode. Technically, the poems - often litanies - are marked by syntactical variation, recurring imagery, paradoxical statement, cultural idioms, shifts between high and low diction, a carnivalesque sense of humor, and an elliptical approach to exposition. The speaker also takes on the identities of various personae in the book, including Joseph Cornell, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Pol Pot, a vaudevillian, a movie extra, minor dictators, vagrants, ambigendered lovers, and a lighthouse keeper on an uninhabited island. from The Death of Elegy : Reluctant, I must onward, dearest wantword, fairest ragebird: I can no longer in the throatscratched marshland, nor do I find myself capable in the Cathedral of Learning, or any(for that matter)where in Pittsburgh. Have lugged too many bodies through its freightyards in my translucent slip. In my gauche veil, I thought I d steel myself against despair, did not accomplish. The moon is black tonight, as if there is none. The moon tonight is either black, or stolen, and I do not possess the wherewithal to up-and-down, in search for it, on the funiculars. What I ve become. An overcoat with hands, hands I would fail to feel if it were colder. [.]. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9781558495852

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Book Description University of Massachusetts Press, United States, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The speaker of the simultaneously funny and devastating poems in this remarkable first collection comes from a country that, like the Soviet Union, no longer exists, a place he treats with a mixture of nostalgia, disdain, and bewilderment as he strives to achieve a sense of order in his current disordered environment, a post-apocalyptic landscape with striking similarities to our own. He takes the reader through haunting and disjunctive childhood memories, on visits to Azerbaijan and West Des Moines, through the ravages of physical and spiritual illness, into and out of wars and ill-fated romantic escapades, as he carefully pieces together a complex narrative of self. This is a book of location and dislocation, intent and inaction, struggle and failure, restraint and mania, love and anger, savagery and healing, grief and merriment, elegy and ode. Technically, the poems - often litanies - are marked by syntactical variation, recurring imagery, paradoxical statement, cultural idioms, shifts between high and low diction, a carnivalesque sense of humor, and an elliptical approach to exposition. The speaker also takes on the identities of various personae in the book, including Joseph Cornell, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Pol Pot, a vaudevillian, a movie extra, minor dictators, vagrants, ambigendered lovers, and a lighthouse keeper on an uninhabited island. from The Death of Elegy : Reluctant, I must onward, dearest wantword, fairest ragebird: I can no longer in the throatscratched marshland, nor do I find myself capable in the Cathedral of Learning, or any(for that matter)where in Pittsburgh. Have lugged too many bodies through its freightyards in my translucent slip. In my gauche veil, I thought I d steel myself against despair, did not accomplish. The moon is black tonight, as if there is none. The moon tonight is either black, or stolen, and I do not possess the wherewithal to up-and-down, in search for it, on the funiculars. What I ve become. An overcoat with hands, hands I would fail to feel if it were colder. [.]. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9781558495852

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Book Description University of Massachusetts Press, United States, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The speaker of the simultaneously funny and devastating poems in this remarkable first collection comes from a country that, like the Soviet Union, no longer exists, a place he treats with a mixture of nostalgia, disdain, and bewilderment as he strives to achieve a sense of order in his current disordered environment, a post-apocalyptic landscape with striking similarities to our own. He takes the reader through haunting and disjunctive childhood memories, on visits to Azerbaijan and West Des Moines, through the ravages of physical and spiritual illness, into and out of wars and ill-fated romantic escapades, as he carefully pieces together a complex narrative of self. This is a book of location and dislocation, intent and inaction, struggle and failure, restraint and mania, love and anger, savagery and healing, grief and merriment, elegy and ode. Technically, the poems - often litanies - are marked by syntactical variation, recurring imagery, paradoxical statement, cultural idioms, shifts between high and low diction, a carnivalesque sense of humor, and an elliptical approach to exposition. The speaker also takes on the identities of various personae in the book, including Joseph Cornell, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Pol Pot, a vaudevillian, a movie extra, minor dictators, vagrants, ambigendered lovers, and a lighthouse keeper on an uninhabited island. from The Death of Elegy : Reluctant, I must onward, dearest wantword, fairest ragebird: I can no longer in the throatscratched marshland, nor do I find myself capable in the Cathedral of Learning, or any(for that matter)where in Pittsburgh. Have lugged too many bodies through its freightyards in my translucent slip. In my gauche veil, I thought I d steel myself against despair, did not accomplish. The moon is black tonight, as if there is none. The moon tonight is either black, or stolen, and I do not possess the wherewithal to up-and-down, in search for it, on the funiculars. What I ve become. An overcoat with hands, hands I would fail to feel if it were colder. [.]. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9781558495852

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