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Praise Nothing: Poems (Paperback)
  • Praise Nothing: Poems (Paperback)
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Praise Nothing: Poems (Paperback)

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£17.50
Paperback 68 Pages / Published: 30/05/2013
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In Praise Nothing, Joshua Robbins writes from a suburban landscape of strip mall bars and vacant lots in which addicts and itinerant preachers, hymns and the turnpike's whine are all made to confess, to testify to the hard truths of faith and doubt in middle-class America. In this arresting and finely crafted debut collection, readers travel a via negativa of sidewalk weeds and patched asphalt that meanders past cheap motels and laundromats, trailer parks, and corner churches to a place where a truant God aimlessly and endlessly drives the neighbourhood, where birds sing their ""fevered hymn / over the dusty tract house roofs"" and even the ""gravel-throated hallelujahs of dumpsters"" profess that ""no one is looking for the infinite."" Populated with figures as diverse as Janis Joplin, Ronald Reagan, the Big Bopper, and Soren Kierkegaard, these poems are wrought by reverence and scepticism. Praise Nothing navigates the religious, the political, and the sublime. In the lyric tradition of Gerard Manley Hopkins's Terrible Sonnets and James Wright's odes to the Midwest, Robbins's compassionate poems sing of our broken connection to the transcendent. Robbins shows us that if there is anything left to praise, it is Nothing.

Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
ISBN: 9781557289971
Number of pages: 68
Weight: 136 g
Dimensions: 211 x 137 x 8 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"In Praise Nothing, his first book, Joshua Robbins has written a supple poetry of moral reflection and social responsibility. With oracular rhetorical skills, dramatic narration, and the telling use of fine, sometimes minute, details garnered from observations of the everyday, he's pitched his poems to the registers of poets like T. R. Hummer and the early James Wright. Yet Robbins's use of dramatic situation and shards of narration remind me of American naturalism--the fiction of Theodore Dreiser and Stephen Crane. His people are ones so often ignored in general histories, and they provide him with the very bewilderments and frustrations, the meditative fractures in the seamless worlds of general economy and culture that inspire in him a sublime poetic tenderness for their existence. Robbins has achieved a well-crafted and worthy style, making himself distinctive for his deft use of traditional rhetorical structures, for the understated elegance in his strophes. Robbins has planted his flag on the serious side of the street."
--Garrett Hongo, author of Coral Road

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