Rice Cherry Reading Series: Joshua Weiner

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 7:00pm
2421 Bissonnet St
77005-1451 Houston
The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish (Phoenix Poets) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780226017013
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 7-10 Days due to Covid-19 shipping delays.
Published: University of Chicago Press - March 20th, 2013

At the heart of Joshua Weiner’s new book is an extended poem with a bold
political dimension and great intellectual ambition. It fuses the
poet’s point of view with Walt Whitman’s to narrate a decentered
time-traveling collage about Rock Creek, a tributary of the Potomac that
runs through Washington, DC. For Weiner, Rock Creek is the location of
myriad kinds of movement, streaming, and joining: personal enterprise
and financial capital; national politics, murder, sex, and homelessness;
the Civil War and collective history; music, spiritual awakening,
personal memory, and pastoral vision. The questions that arise from the
opening foundational poem inform the others in the collection, which
range widely from the dramatic arrival of an uncanny charismatic totem
that titles the volume to intimate reflections on family, illness, and
dream visions. The virtues of Weiner’s earlier books—discursive
intelligence, formal control, an eccentric and intriguing ear, and a
wide-ranging curiosity matched to variety of feeling—are all present
here. But in The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish,
Weiner has discovered a new poetic idiom, one that is stripped down,
rhythmically jagged, and comprehensively philosophical about human