Spirit Cabinet

A spirit cabinet, for the Shakers, was a sort of stage through which the other world might speak. David Wojahn's ferocious poems are 'spirit cabinets' in which appear the raging ghosts of public and private history. Wojahn samples everything from Gilgamesh to The Eagles, building a dense and bracingly idiosyncratic linguistic fabric. His searing, harrowed book portrays a nearly-ruined world lit by a glimmer of a tenderness, and by the corrective perspectives of irony and self-awareness. His hard-won compassion illumines, even if it is an elegist's compassion, in which love and lament are inseparable.
Mark Doty

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.

128 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

February, 2002

isbn : 9780822957768

about the author

David Wojahn

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.

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David Wojahn