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.
A quiet, brave and impassioned rage pulsates in the heart of Late Empire, lifting this imagined history to a state of enduring grace and ruth. Here's a poet who celebrates a needful music in an intriguing landscape, with all the hard questions shining through. . . .This is the stuff poetry and lives are made of. . . .a twentieth-century empire in the psyche offered to us out of love and awe.
In the brilliand, harrowing poens of Late Empire, David Wojahn illuminates the end of the twentieth century—this world we live in—and weaves in seamlessly into the tapestry of a history that is both personal and public. Not since Lowell has a poet spoken so courageously about his parents' deaths, and created art out of teh drtritus of memory. With its energetic language, ambitious craftsmanship, and unflinching approach to extreme situations, this book is fully engaged in the quest for the meaning of human existence.
Wojahn delights in generating poems from the flotsam and jetsam of contemporary culture. This new offering reaches beyond his earlier work and enters more harrowing arenas of experience, exploring the collective and individual human condition via a catalogue of miseries, mishaps and bottled-up memories. . . .Late Empire marks a significant maturation, and is one of the more ambitious recent collections.
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.