It Is If I Speak (Wesleyan Poetry) (Paperback)

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In the epigraph to Joe Wenderoth's new volume of poetry, a herdsman, exhorted by Oedipus to speak the truth, replies "It is if I speak that I will be destroyed."

Wenderoth's poetry is sparse, nihilistic -- and sometimes witty. Publishers Weekly wrote that, "Like Stevens, Wenderoth has a passion for philosophical ideas; at the same time he follows Williams' dictum: no ideas but in things. The result is poetry that is intellectually charged but whose final fidelity is to the senses." His new book has the dignity of a sincere and ferocious despair. In the narratives of these poems, "owing is all that really happens," and lives are shaped by the refusal to "sink dumbly into tolerance of a spectacle.

About the Author

JOE WENDEROTH, whose new work is published regularly in Triquarterly, Colorado Review, Seneca Review, and other journals, has captured the front cover of American Poetry Review, and continues to gather a following. A graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program, he is currently in the English Department at Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota. Author of Disfortune (Wesleyan, 1995) and a chapbook The Endearment (1999), excerpts of his Letters to Wendy's are accessible on-line at
Product Details
ISBN: 9780819563903
ISBN-10: 0819563900
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Publication Date: March 17th, 2000
Pages: 83
Language: English
Series: Wesleyan Poetry