By Mary Ruefle
Publication Date: October 1, 2013 (hardcover), September 2, 2014 (paperback)
Trances of the Blast is a major new collection from beloved and award-winning poet Mary Ruefle. Full of the peculiarity and wit characteristic of Ruefle’s work, the poems deliver an imaginative take on the world’s rifts—its paradoxes, failures, and loss—and help us better appreciate its redeeming strangeness.
The questions that we encounter in the little red Ruefle schoolhouse are not “questions left howling / because their owner has died” — we are made to own them, to pick up the message in the long relay. It is to us that the questions and the quest are put. We emerge from these poems, scathed and awakened.
Christina Davis, Poetry Magazine
As a verbal hunter-gatherer, Ruefle is a barometer of our lyric listening. Her poems are sieves of consciousness, catching strangeness and mundanity, the overheard and the under the breath...Ruefle reminds us how odd, synthetic, and arduous it is—the pursuit of this transmission of verbal fact and form. If you want to know how an early 21st-century lyric poem gets made, and how it is tethered to the rhetorics and resources of its time and place, start here.
B.K. Fischer, Boston Review
Ruefle is a lyrical wordsmith whose work is comforting and smart without being condescending.
Ruefle's the only poet going who, when I try to describe her work, makes me throw up my hands and say, “Oh, what's the use?” She lives in the side of a hill and eats children, OK? Get reading.
Michael Robbins, Chicago Tribune
Ruefle’s poems are deeply personal but don’t feel intrusively confessional. In common parlance, readers will relate. An excellent choice for any collection looking to expand poetry beyond the obvious.
Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal (Starred Review)
Mary Ruefle is more than a Wordsmith; she's a Magician of a high order. In her poems, you think you know where you are, and then you end up somewhere else.
Timothy Liu, Coldfront
Ruefle’s poems are meant to be experienced with the whole self. While they reward close inspection and contemplation, they are most satisfying when you move along with them—when you feel instead of analyze.
Karen Craigo, Heavy Feather Review
Mary Ruefle is the author of many books, including Dunce (Wave Books, 2019), My Private Property (Wave Books, 2016), Trances of the Blast (Wave Books, 2013), Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures (Wave Books, 2012), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism, and Selected Poems (Wave Books, 2010), winner of the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She has also published a comic book, Go Home and Go to Bed! (Pilot Books/Orange Table Comics, 2007), and is an erasure artist, whose treatments of nineteenth century texts have been exhibited in museums and galleries and published in A Little White Shadow (Wave Books, 2006). Ruefle is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Robert Creeley Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a Whiting Award. She lives in Bennington, Vermont.
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