The Body Distances (A Hundred Blackbirds Rising) by Mark WagenaarThe Body Distances (A Hundred Blackbirds Rising) by Mark Wagenaar

The Body Distances (A Hundred Blackbirds Rising)

byMark Wagenaar

Paperback | March 18, 2016

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"Let no lip, shoulder, hip, go untasted tonight. Let no one be unscathed.
And as you close the door & fold yourself in sleep against another

look for a moment at the empty stretch of dark between heaven
& earth: someone is missing from the world . . . "

The Body Distances is filled with long, limber, nimble poems at once ecstatic and elegiac. These poems are odes to the miraculous embedded in the everyday, in which "the unlikely continues / to dovetail with the present."
Mark Wagenaar is a doctoral fellow at the University of North Texas in Denton. He is the 2014 winner of the Pinch Poetry Award, the New Letters Poetry Prize, and the Mary C. Mohr Poetry Prize, as well as the 2013 winner of the James Wright Poetry Prize, the Poetry International Prize, and the Yellowwood Poetry Prize. Wagenaar served as...
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Title:The Body Distances (A Hundred Blackbirds Rising)Format:PaperbackDimensions:96 pages, 10 × 7 × 0.68 inPublished:March 18, 2016Publisher:University of Massachusetts PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1625342209

ISBN - 13:9781625342201

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Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"Mark Wagenaar's poems are brimful of the world - generous, fluid, packed with an avid music, with praise and astonishment. In poem after poem, Wagenaar renders a sense of 'a still life with everything in the world,' not in an attempt to freeze-frame the moment but in order to register everything in the moment, in all its registers, as the moment passes. Therefore, The Body Distances is both ecstatic and elegiac. These are odes to the miraculous embedded in the everyday, in which 'the unlikely continues/ to dovetail with the present.'" - James Haug, Juniper Prize for Poetry co-judge and author of The Stolen Car"As with those poets who seem to be his touchstones - Larry Levis, Charles Wright, and Albert Goldbarth come to mind - Mark Wagenaar's poems are capacious, restless narratives and lyrics that are both emotionally nuanced and remarkably fluent in their ability to juggle allusions that range from Dante to Donald Trump, from Madame Curie to Lex Luthor. Yet the erudition of his poems always arises from urgency rather than from the desire for an easy tour de force. As the title of his collection suggests, Wagenaar's poems are suffused with an acute sense of our mortality, but they are also, in their ambition and relentlessness, oddly celebratory. The Body Distances is a book to savor and return to." - David Wojahn, author of World Tree"Charting how our bodies break and bridge toward spirit, Mark Wagenaar's The Body Distances traces what our flesh endures from sleeping pills, garbage dumps, coal dust, whiskey, and muons, yet manages to find mercy in a Whitmanesque power to marvel at a mutilated world. This is an 'all too human' book by a marvelous poet right when we need it the most." - Mark Irwin, author of American Urn: Selected Poems"Gustav Mahler, whose four-part, unfinished tenth symphony provides thematic armature for Mark Wagenaar's The Body Distances, once admonished 'die Symphonie muss sein wie die Welt. Sie muss alles unfassen' ('the symphony must be a world. It must embrace everything'). Wagenaar possesses a prodigious, sonic, ekphrastic, symphonic imagination equal to Mahler's manifesto (Mahler also said that 'If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music'). It feels that all of life is offered here, in a stirring range of tonal and formal registers - from Adele to de Chirico, Donald Trump's Hair to the Cloud of Unknowing, Mid-western pick-up truck meth labs to Pagliacci, elegiac sonnets to polka troubadours, baseball stats to the ecstatic ledger of the Book of Little Miracles. To shout-out to a clear ancestor of this book, Walt Whitman: Mark Wagenaar is a kosmos, and his book - replete with 'everything in the World' - stitches a host of luminous, grace-buttressed bridges among their, among our, distances." - Lisa Russ Spaar, author of Vanitas, Rough"Long lines and graceful, extended syntax that are on the far side of what is sometimes inadequately called poetic prose; big, inspired leaps from one end of the metaphor to the other; a style rather beyond the merely elliptical yet never falling into the discretely discontinuous; a meaning-making imagination that vibrates with semantic energy; and a young mind that nevertheless deserves the adjective, 'learned.' These are only a few of the attractions of the brilliant Mark Wagenaar's The Body Distances (A Hundred Blackbirds Rising), a book of poems displaying such originality and mastery that it will, I suspect, be discussed and imitated in MFA workshops and advanced poetry classes throughout the country, probably preceded by the instructor's remark, 'This, folks, is how it's done.'" - B.H. Fairchild, author of Usher: Poems