Faster Than Light

Faster Than LightFaster Than Light: New and Selected Poems, 1996-2011 by Marilyn Nelson, Connecticut poet and UConn professor

Conjuring numerous voices and characters across oceans and centuries, Faster Than Light explores widely disparate experiences through the lens of traditional poetic forms. This volume contains a selection of Marilyn Nelson’s new and uncollected poems as well as work from each of her lyric histories of eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century African-American individuals and communities, and The Cachoeira Tales, a long riff on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Poems include the stories of historical figures like Emmett Till, the fourteen-year-old boy lynched in 1955, and the inhabitants of Seneca Village, an African American community razed in 1857 for the creation of Central Park. Bivouac in a Storm tells the story of a group of young soldiers, later to become known as the Tuskegee Airmen, as they trained near Biloxi, Mississippi, “marching in summer heat / thick as blackstrap molasses, under trees / haunted by whippings.” Later pieces range from the poet’s travels in Africa, Europe, and Polynesia, to poems written in collaboration with Father Jacques de Foiard Brown, a former Benedictine monk who becomes the subject of Nelson’s playful fictional fantasy sequence, Adventure-Monk! Both personal and historical, these poems are grounded in quotidian detail but reach toward spiritual and moral truths.

An Introduction to the Prose Poem

Edited by Brian Clements and Jamey Dunham

An Introduction to the Prose Poem clears a new path for students, instructors, and general readers interested in exploring the “ramshackle and unexpected… thoroughfare” [Campbell McGrath] of a hard-to-define genre. For students and instructors, the anthology provides an implicit history of the genre, a wide array of models and strategies, and a map of the prose poem’s potential via dozens of poets, a useful introductory essay and headnotes, and an innovative structure. For readers, it provides what every poetry fan wants—a ton of great poems by over 100 renowned poets!

Brian Clements is the editor of Sentence: a Journal of Prose Poetics and the author of several collections of poetry, including Disappointed Psalms (Meritage Press) and And How to End It (Quale Press). He is a Professor of Writing, Linguistics, and Creative Process at Western Connecticut State University, where he coordinates the MFA in Creative and Professional Writing.

Jamey Dunham is the author of The Bible of Lost Pets (Salt Modern Poets). He is an Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio.

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