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Guide Spells: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan Poetry Series)

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Listed in category:. Email to friends Share on Facebook - opens in a new window or tab Share on Twitter - opens in a new window or tab Share on Pinterest - opens in a new window or tab Add to watch list. Image not available Photos not available for this variation. Learn more - opens in new window or tab Seller information alibrisbooks See all alibrisbooks has no other items for sale.

For additional information, see the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab No additional import charges on delivery Delivery: Varies Payments: Special financing available. An error occurred, please try again. Brand New: A new, unread, unused book in perfect condition with no missing or damaged pages. Annie Finch's Spells brings together her most memorable and striking poems written over forty years. Finch's uniquely mysterious voice moves through the book, revealing insights on the classic themes of love, spirituality, death, nature, and the patterns of time.

A feminist and pagan, Finch writes poems as -spells- that bring readers to experience words not just in the mind, but in the body. Celebrated for her extraordinary love and knowledge of poetic craft, over the course of her career Finch has shaped her own innovative and radically traditional aesthetic. Her strange but familiar metrical language decenters the Self, creating a new, more open emotional relationship between ourselves, other people, and the world.

Spells displays Finch's virtuosity in a broad range of genres and forms, from lyrics, chants, and narrative poems to performance pieces, poetic drama, and verse translation.

A Close Reading of “Elegy for My Father,” by Annie Finch

The book also includes a number of new and previously unpublished poems, notably her s-era -Lost Poems, - experimental work in meter that prefigures postmodern reclamations of poetic form. This wonderfully talented poet gives voice to the female and earth-centered spirituality of our era.

Her emotionally eloquent and rhetorically powerful work will echo in the reader's ear long after the book is closed. Finch has comprehensively raided the myth kitty, re-examining female roles in classical myth or the Judeo-Christian myth of origins Finch earned a B. D from Stanford University, and has been awarded the Robert Fitzgerald Award for her lifetime contribution to the art of versification.

A practitioner of earth-centered spirituality, Finch writes in the preface of her collection Spells: New and Selected Poems that she considers her poems and verse plays to be "spells" whose rhythm and form invite readers "to experience words not just in the mind but in the body. Finch's library of literature, philosophy, and religion influenced her work.

In an interview in American Poetry Review, she describes how living for fifteen months in Europe and the Middle East at the age of six affected her sense of language as incantation. After graduating from Yale Finch moved to the East Village in New York City, where her creative friendships included artist Alix Bacon and poet Eileen Myles and where she self-published and performed the experimental longpoem The Encyclopedia of Scotland in She went on to pursue poetry and poetic theater at the MA program in creative writing at the University of Houston, where her thesis director was poet and playwright Ntozake Shange.

Her doctoral studies at Stanford University, directed by feminist scholar Diane Middlebrook, focused on feminist literary theory, poetics, and cultural studies, culminating in the publication of her landmark essay "Dickinson and Patriarchal Meter: A Theory of Metrical Codes" in PMLA. Finch's poetry first found its first national readership in with the publication of her second book Eve Story Line Press , a finalist for awards including the National Poetry Series and the Yale Series of Younger Poets, which drew attention from reviewers for its unexpected use of traditional forms and meters for feminist mythmaking and incantatory "shapeshifting.

The Readers Guide released by Tupelo Press in notes 15 different meters in the book Henry Taylor noted Finch's differences from the usual school of New Formalist poets in a review.

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She gets it. Among the Goddesses: An Epic Libretto in Seven Dreams combines elements of opera libretto and epic poem to tell a story of abortion and goddess-centered spirituality. It received strong reviews and was awarded the Sarasvati Award for Poetry from the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology. John the Divine. Her interest in reaching a wide audience with poetry is discussed in essays such as "Occasioning Occasional Poetry" and "Where Are You, General Audience? Much of Finch's poetics centers on the role of repetition and pattern.

In the title essay of her book of essays The Body of Poetry, Finch connects the use of poetic meter and form with Goddess spirituality. Other essays in the collection describe her own creative process, discuss translation and women's poetic traditions, and advocate for "Metrical Diversity," the idea that formal poetry is more versatile, effective, and eloquent when it encompasses other metrical patterns in addition to iambic meter.

Finch's critical writings on women's poetic traditions, notably her article on metaphor and subjectivity in the poetry of Lydia Sigourney, are also influential, known for being perhaps the first to take a serious critical approach to the aesthetic she has called "poetess poetics. Francis College. In , she started the Discussion of Women Poets listserv, known as Wom-Po, and facilitated the community until when she delegated the role to poet Amy King. Her conference teaching has included many years on the faculty at the annual West Chester Poetry Conference as well as Poetry by the Sea and many women's spirituality conferences.

A number of composers have set Finch's poetry to music. Her opera libretto, Marina , based on the life of poet Marina Tsvetaeva, was produced by American Opera Projects in with music by Deborah Drattell, directed by Anne Bogart, and with the lead sung by Lauren Flanigan. A libretto version of her epic poem "Among the Goddesses" is interwoven into the narrative version in the edition of the poem. Themes and images in Finch's work have been inspired by earth-centered spirituality.

Eve is organized around a series of poems on ancient Goddesses, and Calendars has a framework of pagan holidays. But I rarely self-identify as such. Teacher, English professor, writer—these are my normal answers when asked about my profession. It was accepted in my second or third season of sending it out, by the Wesleyan New Poets series.

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A few weeks later Ed Ochester called to say University of Pittsburgh wanted to award it their Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, which would have been a much better way to get a first book into the world. I felt compelled to honor my agreement with Wesleyan, however, which turned out to be a pretty lousy publisher at that moment in their illustrious history, and they let the book go out of print after a couple years.

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By writing, of course. Think of it this way: poets have to write a lot of bad poems for every good one, so when things are going poorly, just keep writing and take comfort in getting all those bad poems out of your system.


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Any given poem or project will hit the occasional road block, but there is always an open street somewhere. Or a trail to hike. Or maybe a horse-path to go riding on?