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A Poetics of Hiroshima by William Heyen
In A Poetics of Hiroshima, William Heyen has broken through to face full square what has been working its way to surface through several of his highly-praised earlier books including Erika: Poems of the Holocaust and Shoah Train (Etruscan, 2003): the interfusions, in art and in our desire for art, of beauty and atrocity. Heyen’s lines claw their ways into an aesthetics of formful but obscene sound that may now be our century’s only viable, or possible, home.
“A remarkable poet in whom the ‘visionary’ and the unblinkingly ‘historical’ are dramatically meshed. He writes with the wild, radiant audacity of the visionary; yet his eye and ear are sharp, unsparing.”—Joyce Carol Oates
“William Heyen’s music and meditations continue to amaze. I’ve now read and absorbed all the poems of A Poetics of Hiroshima. I am not ready to write anything about them, except to express my awe.”—Cynthia Ozick
William Heyen was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1940. A former Senior Fulbright Lecturer in American Literature in Germany, he has been honored with awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His Crazy Horse in Stillness won the Small Press Book Award in 1997; Shoah Train was a Finalist for the National Book Award in 2004; A Poetics of Hiroshima was a 2010 selection of the Chautauqua Literary & Scientific Circle. He is Professor of English/Poet in Residence Emeritus at his undergraduate alma mater, the College at Brockport.
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