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Reversing the Spell: New & Selected Poems
Although she has recently won the prestigious MacArthur prize, Wilner still remains relatively unknown to readers of poetry. This work anthologizes poems from four of her previous volumes and adds new poems written between 1993 and 1996. Few other poets writing now show Wilner's intellectual curiosity and range: bats, goddesses, Asian art, photography, and the politics of ...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published November 1st 1997 by Copper Canyon Press
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Wilner's poetry enchants. Becoming tired in the early morning hours, I would mark my place and start to close this book of magic, but my eyes would catch just enough of the first lines of the next poem to ensnare me once more. It happened again and again until I finally gave up and finished the book, only to start reading the poems again at random. She imagines what might have been and rewrites myth and history to reveal new truths seen from unanticipated perspectives. Her impeccant sense of the ...more
I loved the very first poem in the anthology, "Trummerfrauen (The Rubble Women)", with its distinctive Wilner sound patterns — "the relentless percussion of life goes on". This poem is from a collection published in 1993. Then this anthology travels backwards in time, which I think is unusual. Anyway, I found many more poems I wanted to keep in mind forever in the older collections. Many of Wilner's poems are conversations with myths, like "The World is not a Meditation" and "Recovery" that remi ...more