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Gap Gardening

Cover of Gap Gardening

Gap Gardening

Selected Poems
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An essential edition of a major avant-garde poet: "Waldrop compels us to seek out new superlatives" (Ben Lerner, Jacket)

Rosmarie Waldrop says Gap Gardening "spans forty years of exploring the language I breathe and move in and that continues to condition me even while I try to contribute to it. It tracks my turn from verse to prose poems, to focusing on the sentence and its boundaries, my increasing reliance on collage and source texts as a way of engaging with other voices, of being in dialogue."

Gap Gardening also traces Waldrop's growing sense of writing as an exploration of what happens in between. Between words, sentences, people, cultures. Between fragment and flow, thinking and feeling, mind and body. For the first time, we have a complete and clear view of the work of a great and inquiring, brave and indispensable poet.

An essential edition of a major avant-garde poet: "Waldrop compels us to seek out new superlatives" (Ben Lerner, Jacket)

Rosmarie Waldrop says Gap Gardening "spans forty years of exploring the language I breathe and move in and that continues to condition me even while I try to contribute to it. It tracks my turn from verse to prose poems, to focusing on the sentence and its boundaries, my increasing reliance on collage and source texts as a way of engaging with other voices, of being in dialogue."

Gap Gardening also traces Waldrop's growing sense of writing as an exploration of what happens in between. Between words, sentences, people, cultures. Between fragment and flow, thinking and feeling, mind and body. For the first time, we have a complete and clear view of the work of a great and inquiring, brave and indispensable poet.

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About the Author-
  • Rosmarie Waldrop was born in Germany and has lived in the United States since 1958. The author and translator of dozens of books of poetry, fiction, and criticism, she is the co-founder and co- publisher of Burning Deck Press. Waldrop's many honors include being named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, fellowships from the NEA, the Fund for Poetry, and the Lila Wallace–Reader's Digest Writers' Award. In 2006 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 18, 2016
    Arriving nearly 20 years after Waldrop released her first volume of selected poems, Another Language, this new book tracks her scintillating mind through four decades of aesthetic and intellectual development. From the spare, quick-breathed, and short-lined poems of her early years through a progression into prose poems—the form that dominates here—readers will find ongoing, assiduous explorations of fundamental questions about embodiment, perception, and memory. Waldrop is sublimely attuned to the relational as she charts space, grammar, colonial power, and the erotic, all of which figure importantly. A hallmark of her work is that its subject matter is held ever askew; one feels “always on the verge/ or seeing it/ there/ on the edge/ of the horizon.” As the title suggests, Waldrop attends especially to lacunae, the never-quite-bridgeable spaces between words, people, language, and experience. She makes that absence a guiding principle of her poetics. “The four points of the compass are equal on the lawn of the excluded middle,” she writes, “the empty space at the center of each poem to allow penetration.” Some poems make use of collage and erasure, and all create tension between continuity and disjuncture, sound and silence. Taken together, they stand testament to a career of innovation and affirm Waldrop’s essential contributions to 20th- and 21st-century literature.

  • Ben Lerner;Harper's Her work [is] a powerful mixture of directness and disjunction: she conveys information at one moment only to shatter the method of conveyance at the next.
  • Voice Literary Supplement This influential avant-garde doyenne ... handily manages the paradox of the lucid enigma.... She maintains a distinctly American voice—quick-witted, conversational, and visually concrete: a poetry that pleases no less than it puzzles.
  • The American Book Review A page of Waldrop will focus the reader on the intricate (or simple) ways words connect or fail to connect, depend on or defy punctuation, suggest or deny meaning.
  • Boston Review One of the leading voices in contemporary American poetry. Waldrop's nimble poetics of 'gap gardening' provides the emotional and ethical center.
  • Publishers Weekly A wonderful mix of philosophical conversation, erotic questions and astrophysical speculation—defiantly brilliant speculations.
  • Music & Literature With this collection, it is evident that Waldrop's universe begins where Einstein's ends. Nearly fifty years of lyric riffs, meditations, and collages, using as source material the works of physicists, philosophers, explorers, historians, and critics, from Columbus to Wittgenstein, seek to simultaneously define, deconstruct, and, finally, re-construct a mind in motion.
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    New Directions
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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Gap Gardening
Gap Gardening
Selected Poems
Rosmarie Waldrop
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