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War of the Foxes
by Richard Siken


Overview -

This may be the most anticipated poetry book of the last decade...expect it to haunt you. NPR.org

In reviewing Richard Siken's first book, "Crush, " the "New York Times" wrote that "his territory is where] passion and eloquence collide and fuse." In this long-awaited follow-up to "Crush, " Siken turns toward the problems of making and representation, in an unrelenting interrogation of our world of doublings.  Read more...


 
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More About War of the Foxes by Richard Siken
 
 
 
Overview

This may be the most anticipated poetry book of the last decade...expect it to haunt you. NPR.org

In reviewing Richard Siken's first book, "Crush, " the "New York Times" wrote that "his territory is where] passion and eloquence collide and fuse." In this long-awaited follow-up to "Crush, " Siken turns toward the problems of making and representation, in an unrelenting interrogation of our world of doublings. In this restless, swerving book simple questionssuch as, "Why paint a bird?"are immediately complicated by concerns of morality, human capacity, and the ways we look to art for meaning and purpose while participating in itsand our owninvention.

* "Slippery, magnetic riffs on the arbitrary divisions made by the human mind in light of the mathematical abstractions that delete them; poetry lovers will want to read.""Library Journal," starred review

" P]oems of passion, examining what it means to love, to be, and to create.""Vanity Fair"

"Siken s stark, startling collection focuses tightly on both the futility and the importance of creating art.""Booklist"

Poems primarily about painting and representation give way to images that become central characters in a sequence of fable-like pieces. Animals, landscapes, objects, and an array of characters serve as sites for big, human questions to play out in distilled form. Siken s sense of line has become more uniform, this steadiness punctuated by moments of cinematic urgency. "Publishers Weekly"

""War of the Foxes" builds upon the lush and frantic magic of Richard Siken s first book, "Crush." In this second book, Siken takes breathtaking control of the rich, varied material he has chosen...Siken paints and erasesthe metaphor of painting with words allows him to leave those traces that mostly go unseen. He is the Trickster. If paint/then no paint. He does this with astonishing candor and passion.""The Rumpus"

The Museum

"Two lovers went to the museum and wandered the rooms.
He saw a painting and stood in front of it
for too long. It was a few minutes before she
realized he had gotten stuck. He was stuck looking
at a painting. She stood next to him, looking at his
face and then the face in the painting. What do you
see? she asked. I don't know, he said. He didn't
know. She was disappointed, then bored. He was
looking at a face and she was looking at her watch.
This is where everything changed . . ."

Richard Siken is a poet, painter, and filmmaker. His first book, "Crush," won the Yale Younger Poets' prize. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.
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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781556594779
  • ISBN-10: 1556594771
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
  • Publish Date: April 2015
  • Page Count: 96


Related Categories

Books > Poetry > American - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-01-19
  • Reviewer: Staff

A decade after releasing his debut collection, Crush (winner of the 2004 Yale Series of Younger Poets prize and a Lambda Literary Award), to sweeping and enduring acclaim, Siken offers a streamlined volume in which careful meditations on the act of making lead to questions of being, knowing, and power. What remains the same is the shrewd manner in which the poems move and turn, with Siken manipulating a wide range of rhetorical gestures—snatches of speech, direct questions, aphorisms, and negations come into play in quick succession—but always in service of a poem’s clear and focused aims. This inward, contemplative book is driven by inquiry from its opening lines: “The paint doesn’t move the way the light reflects,/ so what’s there to be faithful to?” Poems primarily about painting and representation give way to images that become central characters in a sequence of fable-like pieces. Animals, landscapes, objects, and an array of characters serve as sites for big, human questions to play out in distilled form. Siken’s sense of line has become more uniform, this steadiness punctuated by moments of cinematic urgency, as when he writes, “I cut off my head and threw it in the sky. It turned/ into birds. I called it thinking.” (Apr.)

 
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