Left Bank Books presents Diane Seuss, one of the most original voices in contemporary poetry. Seuss is the author of five previous poetry collections, including frank: sonnets, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN/Voelcker Award! Help us celebrate the launch of Modern Poetry with a virtual event that you can join from the comfort of your own home.
Diane Seuss will be in conversation with Jane Hilberry, award-winning poet and Professor of Creativity and Innovation at Colorado College!
Signed bookplates will be available while supplies last!
Watch the livestream on Left Bank Books' YouTube Page
About the Speakers
Diane Seuss is the author of five previous poetry collections, including frank: sonnets, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN/Voelcker Award. She lives in rural Michigan.
Jane Hilberry serves as Professor of Creativity and Innovation at Colorado College. Studying how creativity works, doing her own creative work, and fostering creativity in others is the foundation of her professional life. Her poems have appeared in The Sun, The Hudson Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many other journals, as well as in anthologies such as Queer Nature and New Poets of the American West. She has published two books of poems, Still the Animals Enter and Body Painting, both with Red Hen Press. She and her father, Conrad Hilberry, co-authored a chapbook titled This Awkward Art: Poems by a Father and Daughter, with an introduction by Richard Wilbur (Mayapple Press). For ten years, she facilitated a program called The Art of the Executive Leader at the Banff Centre in Canada. Her honors include the Colorado Book Award for Poetry, the Poetry Prize in Poetry, and Mellon Foundation grants. She loves collaboration and has had the pleasure of working with many artists, including filmmaker Cynthia Lowen, visual artist Senga Nengudi, and musician Gabriel Globus-Hoenich.
About Modern Poetry: Poems
An extraordinary new collection by Diane Seuss, author of frank: sonnets, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
Diane Seuss's signature voice--audacious in its honesty, virtuosic in its artistry, outsider in its attitude--has become one of the most original in contemporary poetry. Her latest collection takes its title, Modern Poetry, from the first textbook Seuss encountered as a child and the first poetry course she took in college, as an enrapt but ill-equipped student, one who felt poetry was beyond her reach. Many of the poems make use of the forms and terms of musical and poetic craft--ballad, fugue, aria, refrain, coda--and contend with the works of writers overrepresented in textbooks and anthologies and those too often underrepresented. Seuss provides a moving account of her picaresque years and their uncertainties, and in the process, she enters the realm between Modernism and Romanticism, between romance and objectivity, with Keats as ghost, lover, and interlocutor.
In poems of rangy curiosity, sharp humor, and illuminating self-scrutiny, Modern Poetry investigates our time's deep isolation and divisiveness and asks: What can poetry be now? Do poems still have the capacity to mean? "It seems wrong / to curl now within the confines / of a poem," Seuss writes. "You can't hide / from what you made / inside what you made." What she finds there, finally, is a surprising but unmistakable love.
Publishers Weekly (12/18/2023):
Seuss (Frank: Sonnets) lends her mordant wit and incisive vision to this poetry-focused sixth collection. Her deadpan levity refuses piousness, even as she deals head-on with a feeling of being "never again at home in the world" and a sense that "I have camped/ at this outpost my whole life." Seuss's comic talent bristles and undercuts sentimentality. She comments as she goes, often on the very construction and thoughts which drive her "breathless/ deathless, feckless little song." There is an urge toward self-laceration in these pages ("I looked like a Rubens/ painting of a woman half-eaten/ by moths"), but she applies these same unsparing, scalpel-like strokes to "the murdered world" and to poetry itself. There are several essayistic poems discussing craft and the artistry of verse: "There is a poetry of rage and a poetry of hope," she notes, while refusing to settle for easy platitude. "Who wants anyone/ else's hands on their pain?" she asks, challenging simplistic self-help solutions. "Don't be the savior, be the stain." These irreverent, pulsing, and defiant poems are full of dangerous good sense. (Mar.)
Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
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