Human Cartography: Poems (Winner, T.S. Eliot Prize, 2002) (New Odyssey Series)

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9781931112154: Human Cartography: Poems (Winner, T.S. Eliot Prize, 2002) (New Odyssey Series)

In this collection, poet James Gurley maps the emotional and physical landscapes we inhabit. His poems employ the theorems and metaphors of science to examine how history and the natural world around us help shape our lives. Displaying what 2002 T. S. Eliot judge David Wagoner called "the best kind of literary empathy," Gurley retells the stories of historical figures -- naturalists, explorers, ornithologists, photographers -- and brings these characters alive in a contemporary context that heightens the parallels between past and present. The different voices from science and art -- usually seen as incompatible-link to form a comprehensive vision of the human experience.

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From the Inside Flap:

Until recently, the halls of science and the halls of literature were kept apart by mutual misunderstanding, and their professors and practitioners stayed in their separate disciplines and only glared at each other now and then through shut windows. But lately, poems such as those in Human Cartography are helping to bridge the language gap.

James Gurley seems at home at both ends of that metaphorical campus, using the wonderfully sensitive measuring instruments of both to examine both, even being one of those instruments himself, vividly observant, poised there at any number of mysterious thresholds, always aware of what he calls '"the relentless beauty of the world."

With an easy shift of identities, Gurley gives us dramatic dialogues of obscure or well-known voices-naturalists, ornithologists, nutritionists, photographers, painters-convincing demonstrations of the best kind of literary empathy. In "The Theory of Transformations" he speaks simultaneously as a lover and an anatomy instructor over the wonders of the human body with a beautifully controlled consistency and originality, yet at the same time manages to keep "a beginner's faith in things unseen."

Its range of interest, its penetration of normal surfaces and limitations, its mature emotional balance make Human Cartography a very strong first book."

--David Wagoner

About the Author:

James Gurley has published two poetry chapbooks, Radiant Measures, and Transformations. His poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, including Crab Orchard Review, Indiana Review, Many Mountains Moving, and Poetry. He is the recipient of various writing grants, most recently a 2001 literary fellowship from Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission. He lives in Seattle.

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Book Description Truman State University Press, United States, 2002. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this collection, poet James Gurley maps the emotional and physical landscapes we inhabit. His poems employ the theorems and metaphors of science to examine how history and the natural world around us help shape our lives. Displaying what 2002 T. S. Eliot judge David Wagoner called the best kind of literary empathy, Gurley retells the stories of historical figures -- naturalists, explorers, ornithologists, photographers -- and brings these characters alive in a contemporary context that heightens the parallels between past and present. The different voices from science and art -- usually seen as incompatible-link to form a comprehensive vision of the human experience. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781931112154

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