The Book of Whispering in the Projection Booth

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9781932195675: The Book of Whispering in the Projection Booth

Invoking connections between cinematic and poetic images, The Book of Whispering in the Projection Booth traverses a split between the essential innocence and peculiar severity of children s games. Drawing on films such as Víctor Erice's The Spirit of the Beehive and Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep, the art of Yoshitomo Nara, and the writings of Charles Brockden Brown, Wilkinson shifts between lyrical fragments and stark, image-laden prose poems. What unfolds is a series of phantom songs and little yarns:

"The messenger picked a powdered tulip & placed it on the frozen windshield of a truck behind the tannery as the tannery smoked. But it was still early & all the bachelors huddled in a corner to watch who came in. I came in."

And so should you . . . .

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About the Author:

Born and raised in Seattle, Joshua Marie Wilkinson is the author of five books of poetry, most recently SELENOGRAPHY (Sidebrow Books, 2010). He has also edited two anthologies for University of Iowa Press, including Poets on Teaching, due out fall 2010. A tour documentary about the band Califone, entitled Made a Machine by Describing the Landscape, is also forthcoming. He teaches at Loyola University Chicago, and divides his time between Chicago and Athens, Georgia.

Review:

The Book of Whispering in the Projection Booth (Tupelo Press, 2009) is . . . a fascinating, energy-giving dance with the notion of constraint, how it plays out in both physical and psychological realms. . . . In a feat of creative alchemy, external regulation becomes subject matter, and the general concept of constraint explodes into an array of wonderfully evocative particulars. There is, for example, an exploration of constraint in the sense of physically holding still, where the act of holding still evinces a range of emotional values, as in the macabre A boy holds so/still in the wax/museum // his skin takes / on the ceiling s / perfume, and in the sublime . . . You can unlearn the earth's / spinning // if you // lie down on your back / in the goatfield" (both quotations from the book's second section, also titled "The Book of Whispering in the Projection Booth"). . . . Indeed, the sequence of poems seems readable as an imagistic bildungsroman. There are early suggestions of a difficult threatening world (suicide, lynching) in which a boy must hold still in every sense in order to survive, and then in the later sections a sense of freedom and animation. Consider the self-knowledge implicit in "Even though there are sixty-five people inside of you, each of them is listening for the hinge to whine when you drift off in the rowboat" (from "on certainty & perfumes"). And the sense of parental relation in "Will you / fall // out of my footsteps? (from "The Book of the Umbrella").

(A)n extremely valuable book.

--YAAKOV MURCHADHA journal

Equal parts flashed-forward backstory and passing sad daydream, The Book of Whispering in the Projection Booth helps us and hips us to the circus of public secrets. I trust this book as far as it can throw me. --Graham Foust

Reading this collection is like trying on someone else's dreams. Or getting secret, elliptical messages from the books that you read, and loved, in childhood. Strangely satisfying, and satisfyingly strange. I'm a fan. --Kelly Link

Equal parts flashed-forward backstory and passing sad daydream, The Book of Whispering in the Projection Booth helps us and hips us to the circus of public secrets. I trust this book as far as it can throw me. --Graham Foust

Reading this collection is like trying on someone else's dreams. Or getting secret, elliptical messages from the books that you read, and loved, in childhood. Strangely satisfying, and satisfyingly strange. I'm a fan. --Kelly Link

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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