Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Survival Is a Style: Poems” as Want to Read:
Survival Is a Style: Poems
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Survival Is a Style: Poems

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Survival Is a Style, Christian Wiman's first collection of new poems in six years, may be his best book yet. His many readers will recognize the musical and formal variety, the voice that can be tender and funny, credibly mystical and savagely skeptical. But there are many new notes in this collection as well, including a moving elegy to the poet's father, sharp ...more
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Survival Is a Style, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Survival Is a Style

The New Husband by D.J.  PalmerAll the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn  GraceAll Your Twisted Secrets by Diana  UrbanFrom Thailand with Love by Camilla IsleyIn The Clearing by J.P. Pomare
Best Books 2020
342 books — 259 voters
American Dirt by Jeanine CumminsDear Edward by Ann NapolitanoGilded Dreams by Donna Russo MorinMy Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth RussellThe Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
Best books of 2020
177 books — 102 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  42 ratings  ·  14 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Survival Is a Style: Poems
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
The first time I saw Christian Wiman, he was in the middle of a reading of one of his poems, entitled Native, spitting out syllables with a rhythmic drawl, drawing the dramatic significance out of every word. Prior to that night, Id never heard any poet read his own work with such complete control over the tone and cadence of his voice.

This collection is about memory, grief, and unbelief. I need a space for unbelief to breathe, the poet admits in Prologue. When he says unbelief, I wish he meant
Wiman examines Christian faith in the shadow of cancer. This is the third of his books that Ive read; Im consistently impressed by how he makes room for doubt, bitterness and irony, yet a flame of faith remains. Really interesting phrasing and vocabulary here. ...more
Billy Jepma
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, poetry
In league with the stones of the field
I am by being healed.

Everyone who knows me knows that I love Christian Wiman. His poetry and his prose resonates with me on a level few other writers can, and when asked who my favorite writer iseven though I read mostly fictionI dont hesitate to name him.

With his newest volume of poetry, his first one in years, Wimans signature struggles and adulations of faith, sickness, grief, and joy are more pronounced and nuanced than I think theyve ever been. This may
David Jordan
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Christian Wiman has been a favorite poet of mine for a while now, and it was with enthusiasm that I began reading this newest collection. I have occasionally wondered when I will next encounter a book of poetry from a beloved poet that will fail to meet my expectations and disappoint me with its failure to provide the satisfactory experience of previous collections. No such concerns were warranted in this instance. Survival Is a Style may possibly be my favorite of Wiman's works thus far. On ...more
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, read-in-2020
Heres one of my favorite poems of this book

A light store in the Bowery
by Christian Wiman

Some love is like a light store
you slip inside only to escape
the rain. Something to see, it turns out:
the plasma lamps, mosque and lava,
the elegant icicles of the chandeliers,
shapes and shades so insistently singular
that rooms cant help but happen around them,
lives cant help but acquire choices and chances
inside. Some love is like an old owner
who when a child walks in with her parents
can only imagine
Stephen Lamb
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
From The Parable of Perfect Silence:

People ask if I believe in God and the verb is tedious to me. / Not wrong, not offensive, not intrusive, not embarrassing. / Tedious.
Aaron Cohen
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Some startlingly touching/moving/thought-provoking poems in here.
Crystal Hurd
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wiman is just so, so good. One of the finest poets I've encountered. I couldn't wait to get this book in the mail today; I gobbled it up like chocolate. ❤
R.W. Moore
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One thing (of many) that makes Christian Wiman such a beautiful and meaningful voice, and in that, such a good poet, is his dedication to honesty (though at times cryptic and subtle). Good poets accept what they see and what they feel without worrying about it's tidyness or exposure, and those of us who get to read it are moved by those things, whether darkly or not.

It is in that regard that I give this book it's deserving five stars and recognize it as one that I'll keep handy through the
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
continually saying exactly what i need to hear:
"The poem is lonely, it intends another, and goes out toward her"
Hailey Leithauser
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, moving poems, longer ones mixed in with short, mostly to do with faith, at times frighteningly good, one of the best poets writing today.
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Parable of Perfect silence, Wimans long poem for his father, was one to remember. ...more
Sam Strickland
Ill need some more time to process this poetry. This is only an initial read, but there are some exquisite lines within this book. ...more
Steven Roberts
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Many gems in this book of poems. Wiman navigates the landscape from the profound to the absurd, drawing on his classic themes of unbelief, suffering, love, and daily life. This is the kind of collection that you would want to read again, there is so much to draw from it.
Ben Groner III
rated it it was amazing
Feb 04, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Feb 09, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Mar 08, 2020
Heather KD
rated it it was amazing
Feb 27, 2020
rated it liked it
Mar 18, 2020
rated it really liked it
Feb 06, 2020
Anne-Marie Friedman
rated it it was amazing
Feb 14, 2020
rated it really liked it
Mar 17, 2020
rated it really liked it
Feb 08, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Feb 16, 2020
Elaine Eberhart
rated it really liked it
Feb 11, 2020
John Linstrom
rated it it was amazing
Feb 15, 2020
rated it liked it
Mar 09, 2020
Eric Zhou
rated it it was amazing
Jan 14, 2020
Katie Farris
rated it it was amazing
Feb 02, 2020
Nick Clark
rated it really liked it
Feb 18, 2020
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Wade in the Water: Poems
  • Deaf Republic
  • Summer Snow: New Poems
  • Women in Art: 50 Fearless Creatives Who Inspired the World
  • If Men, Then: Poems
  • The Mezzanine
  • Stranger by Night: Poems
  • Sight Lines
  • Eye Level: Poems
  • Felon: Poems
  • Your New Feeling Is the Artifact of a Bygone Era
  • Grand Union: Stories
  • Chances Are...
  • For the Ride
  • Love Song to the Demon-Possessed Pigs of Gadara
  • Nineteen
  • Magdalene: Poems
  • Fit to Die (A Supper Club Mystery, #2)
See similar books…
Christian Wiman is an American poet and editor born in 1966 and raised in West Texas. He graduated from Washington and Lee University and has taught at Northwestern University, Stanford University, Lynchburg College in Virginia, and the Prague School of Economics. In 2003 he became editor of the oldest American magazine of verse, Poetry.

Related Articles

"Stay calm and read on" might be our collective slogan for the coming months. Since we all might need some help with that, we asked Goodreads m...
143 likes · 152 comments