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Book Title: The Beforelife|
The author of the book: Franz Wright
Date of issue: February 24th 2010
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Reader ratings: 6.2
ISBN 13: 9780307554574
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 328 KB
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In this stunning collection, Franz Wright chronicles the journey back from a place of isolation and wordlessness. After a period when it seemed certain he would never write poetry again, he speaks with bracing clarity about the twilit world that lies between madness and sanity, addiction and recovery. Wright negotiates the precarious transition from illness to health in a state of skeptical rapture, discovering along the way the exhilaration of love--both divine and human--and finding that even the most battered consciousness can be good company.
Whether he is writing about his regret for the abortion of a child, describing the mechanics of slander ("I can just hear them on the telephone and keening all their kissy little knives"), or composing an ironic ode to himself ("To a Blossoming Nut Case"), Wright's poems are exquisitely precise. Charles Simic has characterized him as a poetic miniaturist, whose "secret ambition is to write an epic on the inside of a matchbook cover." Time and again, Wright turns on a dime in a few brief lines, exposing the dark comedy and poignancy of his heightened perception.
Here is one of the poems from the collection:
Description of Her Eyes
and my mind goes
everyone can kiss my ass now--
then it's changed,
I change my mind.
Eyes so sad, and infinitely kind.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Read information about the authorBorn in Vienna, Franz Wright is the author of fourteen collections of poetry. Walking to Martha's Vineyard (Knopf 2003) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. His newest collections, God’s Silence, and Earlier Poems were published by Knopf in, 2006 & 2007. Wright’s other books include The Beforelife (2001), Ill Lit: New and Selected Poems (1998), Rorschach Test (1995), The Night World and the Word Night (1993), and Midnight Postscript (1993). Mr. Wright has also translated poems by René Char, Erica Pedretti, and Rainer Maria Rilke. He has received the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, as well as grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Wright has taught in many colleges and universities, including Emerson College and the University of Arkansas. He is currently the writer-in-residence at Brandeis. He has also worked in a mental health clinic in Lexington, Massachusetts, and as a volunteer at the Center for Grieving Children.
Franz Wright, son of the poet James Wright, began writing when he was very young. At 15, he sent one of his poems to his absentee father, who wrote back, “You’re a poet. Welcome to hell.” James and Franz Wright are the only father and son to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In a short essay on writing, Franz writes, “Think of it: a writer actually possesses the power to alter his past, to change what was once experienced as defeat into victory and what was once experienced as speechless anguish into a stroke of great good fortune or even something approaching blessedness, depending upon what he does with that past, what he makes out of it.” Charles Simic has characterized Wright as a poetic miniaturist, whose "secret ambition is to write an epic on the inside of a matchbook cover." Time and again, Wright turns on a dime in a few brief lines, exposing the dark comedy and poignancy of his heightened perception.
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