The Wall

Is it possible for a poem to be both extravagant and astringent at once? Ilan Stavans' entirely extraordinary The Wall proves it is. Performative, associative, allusive, harrowing, this poem is a profoundly informed investigation and an entirely personal, supremely articulate howl of the heart against division and separation. Ilan Stavans is one of the necessary sayers-out of our time.
Jane Hirshfield
Winner, 2019 Massachusetts Book Award

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Winner of the Massachusetts Book Award for Poetry

The Wall
is a poetic exploration—across time, space, and language, real as well as metaphorical—of the U.S.-Mexican wall dividing the two civilizations, of similar walls (Jerusalem, China, Berlin, Warsaw, etc.) in history, and of the act of separating people by ideology, class, race, and other subterfuges. It is an indictment of hateful political rhetoric. In the spirit of Virgil’s Aeneid and Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Master, it gives voice in symphonic fashion to an assortment of participants (immigrants, border patrol, soldiers, activists, presidents, people dead and alive) involved in the debate on walls. It brings in elements of literature and pop culture, fashion and cuisine. Poetry becomes a tool to explore raw human emotions in all its extremes.

120 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

March, 2018

isbn : 9780822965282

about the author

Ilan Stavans

Ilan Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities, Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. He is the author and translator of numerous books, including The Seventh Heaven: Jewish Travels Through Latin America and The Wall.

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Ilan Stavans