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A Long High Whistle: Selected Columns

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Literary Nonfiction. Poetry. Winner of the Oregon Book Award for General Nonfiction, 2016. Over the course of ten years, poet and critic David Biespiel published a brief, dazzling essay on poetry every month in what became the longest-running newspaper column on poetry in the United States. Collected here for the first time, these enormously popular essays, many of which h ...more
Paperback, 245 pages
Published April 1st 2015 by Antilever Press
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Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Missionary Anthology. Guided readings that open the door (to one new) to poetry. Brief but enriching, canonical introductions.
John Hanson
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
I thoroughly enjoyed every chapter/article. The author first takes us through some scaffolding or an introduction to poetic purpose and style; then as we're nearly sated, he takes us on a journey of poetic history, describing the poet, the time period, how he or she approached their work, their reception, and of course provides an example of one of their poems. There is no deep deconstruction.

Trying to learn poetry on your own is like trying to learn about a house, its contents, and its inhabita
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
There is so much to learn about poetry, to think about poetry, to read about poetry, it's almost as satisfying as reading the actual poetry. I love the way David Biespiel points out connections between poets and poems, brings out facts about the poets, and shares his love of poetry. It's so sad that his column (in the Portland Oregonian) is no more. ...more
Richard Subber
Jun 28, 2018 rated it liked it
An engaging sampler of Biespiel's well-informed take on poetry through the ages. These are thoughtful essays on poetry through the ages, indeed, this is a thinking man’s bathroom reading…
Caveat: Biespiel’s commentaries are interesting and informative, but they are not instructional. A Long High Whistle is a gloss of insight.
Each essay has elements of artful assessment that will appeal to a poet who is seriously committed to writing and learning how to write better. That said, Biespiel’s package
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
A LONG HIGH WHISTLE – by David Biespiel:

If you read poetry, if you like poetry, if you love poetry, if you write poetry, if you study poetry … you will want to read this book. This is a very satisfying collection of columns about poetry written by a poet in Oregon. Some years back we had a similar column in the Dallas Morning News and I always looked forward to reading it. Alas, it is gone. The rarity of such a column cannot be measured. I am familiar with perhaps 2/3 of the poets mentioned in t
Anne, Unfinished Woman
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Feb 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
He's doing important work, bringing Serious Poetry to a popular audience and explaining why poetry matters. Why the humanities matter. ...more
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David Biespiel was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1964, raised in Texas, and educated at Stanford University, University of Maryland, and Boston University.

One of the leading poets of his generation, he is the founder of the Attic Writers' Workshop in Portland, Oregon, editor of Poetry Northwest, poetry columnist for The Oregonian, and daily contributor on politics to The Politico."


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