A collection of original essays written by contemporary poets about the innovative and unforgettable novels written by their predecessors.
Essays on the Poet’s Novel
FINALIST for the Big Other Book Award for Nonfiction!
A Forest on Many Stems: Essays on the Poet’s Novel provides a unique entrance to the rare prose of many remarkable modern and contemporary poets including Etel Adnan, Renee Gladman, Langston Hughes, Kevin Killian, Alice Notley, Fernando Pessoa, Rainer Maria Rilke, Leslie Scalapino, Jack Spicer, and Jean Toomer, whose approaches to the novel defy conventions of plot, character, setting, and action. Contributors Brian Blanchfield, Anne Boyer, John Keene, Mónica de la Torre, Cedar Sigo, and C. D. Wright bring a variety of insights, approaches, and writing styles to the subject with creative and often surprising results.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
This generous anthology will have a place on the shelves of literature professors and grad students.
A Forest on Many Stems successfully captures the craft and intent that went into a kaleidoscope of poet’s novels, each of them unique yet united by their author’s desire to create a new space within narrative for their words and, in some cases, their existence. As a poet interested in the possibilities of narrative, this is a book that I realized I desperately needed on my shelf after reading the first page, and I imagine many poets, students, and critics will feel similarly.
Whether engaged in close reading, philosophical discussion, literary discourse or theoretical deconstruction, this book articulates and extends that conversation. It is a challenging, focused and exciting read.
Weighing in at nearly 600 pages of critical prose, A Forest on Many Stems is a truly maximalist engagement with the relatively niche genre of the poet’s novel.