David Wojahn is the author of Spirit Cabinet, The Falling Hour, Late Empire, Mystery Train, Glassworks, Icehouse Lights, Interrogation Palace, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and World Tree, winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and the Poet’s Prize. He is the recipient of four Pushcart Prizes, the William Carlos Williams Book Award, the Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize, the George Kent Memorial Prize, and the O. B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize, among other honors. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Wojahn is professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University and also teaches in the MFA in Writing Program of the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
For the Scribe, the ninth collection by award-winning poet David Wojahn, continues his explorations of the interstices between the public and the private, the historical and the personal. Poems of recollection and elegy commingle and conjoin with poems which address larger matters of historical and ecological import. The subjects of extinction and apocalypse figure prominently and obsessively in these pages, both in short lyrics and in several lengthy sequences. The poems also evidence the mastery of technique for which Wojahn is renowned, whether he is writing in fixed forms or in free verse. For the Scribe is the most ambitious and searching collection thus far from a poet who has been a named finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets, the O. B. Hardison Award from the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the William Carlos Williams Book Award.
World Tree is in many respects, David Wojahn’s most ambitious collection to date; especially notable is a 25-poem sequence of ekphrastic poems, “Ochre,” which is accompanied by a haunting series of drawings and photographs of Neolithic Art and anonymous turn of the last century snapshots.
Wojahn continues to explore the themes and approaches which he is known for, among them the junctures between the personal and political, a giddy mixing of high and pop culture references, and a deep emotional engagement with whatever material he is writing about.
Winner of the 2012 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets
Interrogation Palace is a career-spanning selection of work from an important American poet, drawing upon each of David Wojahn’s six previous collections and a substantial gathering of new work. Moving fluently from personal history to public history, and from high culture to popular culture, Wojahn’s searching and restless poetry has been considerably acclaimed, both for the candor of its testimony and the authority of its formal invention. He is above all an elegiac poet, tender and ferocious by turns, whether mourning the loss of family and loved ones or the hopes and aspirations of the baby-boomer era. <I>Interrogation Palace</I> confirms David Wojahn’s status as one of the most inventive, passionate, and ambitious figures of his generation.
Spirit Cabinet is an ambitious work, seamlessly mixing autobiography with subjects ranging from pop music to ancient Egypt, from Stalin’s reading habits to Shackleton’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition. Formally inventive, elegiac and redemptive, aesthetically and emotionally risky, this is Wojahn’s most ingenious and compelling collection.
The Falling Hour is the fifth collection of poetry by David Wojahn, one of the most highly regarded poets of his generation. It is a fiercly elegiac and even apocalyptic book, culminating in a series of blistering elegies written after the sudden death of Wojahn’s wife, the poet Linda Hull. In these poems, the process of mourning and lamentation is examined in all of its intricacy, rage, and sorrowful ambivalence.
Late Empire, David Wojahn’s most wide-ranging collection of poetry, affirms his status as one of the most compelling and original voices of his generation. In these poems, private history and public history mingle and merge in a way that is by turns deeply personal and elegiac. Centered around tow masterful elegies for the writers parents, the poems also treat an array of subjects familiar to us from news events but rarely examined by contemporary poetry.
David Wojahn deftly mixes personal history and recollections with a wide range of character studies and monologues, but the center of this book is a sequence of thirty-five poems, mainly sonnets, in which rock and roll music is a strange, kaleidoscopic mirror of recent American history. Combining rhapsodic homage, grim humor, human folly, and tragedy, these poems are like nothing else in contemporary poetry.