Tuesday Sep 19

ArmantroutRa--PhotoCreditRosanneOlsoncourtesyofWesleyanUniversityPress Rae Armantrout’s most recent book of poems, Money Shot, was published by Wesleyan University Press in 2011. Versed (Wesleyan, 2009), received the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. It was also a finalist for the National Book Award.  Next Life (Wesleyan, 2007), was chosen as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2007 by The New York Times.  Other recent books include Collected Prose (Singing Horse, 2007), Up to Speed (Wesleyan, 2004), The Pretext (Green Integer, 2001), and Veil: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 2001). Her poems have been included in anthologies such as American Hybrid (Norton, 2009),  Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology (1993), American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Language Meets the Lyric Tradition, (Wesleyan, 2002),  The Oxford Book of American Poetry (Oxford, 2006) and  The Best American Poetry of 1988, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2008 and 2011.  Armantrout received an award in poetry from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in 2007 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008. She is Professor of Poetry and Poetics at the University of California, San Diego. A new collection, Just Saying, is forthcoming from Wesleyan in 2013. 
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The Wait

 
A story deals with distance;
how it can be crossed.
 
There will be dangerous animals
in the form of questions.
 
Some Jack of Clubs
will have hit upon an answer,
 
beguiled hunger,
 
continued.
 
 
*
 
I can’t wait to start out
dreaming (thinking).
 
This means I wait.
Consciousness is so boring
 
with its identification
of noises
in the dark,
 
its taxonomies
of grinding.
 
 
*
 
In my dreams,
feelings are tacked on
to shapes.
 
One or the other
must be an afterthought.
 
Together they make
an awkward animal.
 
This is also true
when I’m awake,
 
but for that, of course,
I am not responsible.
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Photo Credit: Rosanne Olson, courtesy of Wesleyan University Press