Page 16 - 661601 Digital Edition

SEO Version

Winner of the 2012 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry, selected by
Jean Valentine
In this debut collection,
Voodoo Inverso,
Mark Wagenaar composes a
startling mystical imagism and sets it to music, using self-portraits to
explore differing physical and spiritual landscapes. He uses a variety of
personae—a victim of sex trafficking in Amsterdam, a
dancer, a
portrait haunted by Dante, a carillonneur of starlight, an elephant in
pink slippers remembering its beloved—to silhouette the intricacies
and frailties of the body and the world. In a series of “gospels” and
“histories”—such as the poems “History of Ecstasy” and “Moth Hour
Gospel”—he shines a light on the possibilities of transcendence and
transfiguration, weaving together memory and loss with desire and
You, too, will be laid down,
taken up as xylem, shaken out as feathers, as ash,
your name the hum of the blue arcs the deer
leave in the air as they leap. Of the solace
of thorns, what could I tell you? Will you take comfort
knowing you will gladly give your life for the sake
of your thirst? When the body is laid down
in its longing—the mosaic of veins at our wrists & feet
patterned after dogwood blossoms, the pulsatile sun
beneath our ribs, the three-day darkness
between them—it’s wound with the same water that bears
the day’s ashes to a vanishing point west of west.
—excerpt from “The Other World”
© The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved.
is the winner of numerous
poetry awards, including the Yellowwood
Poetry Prize, the Gary Gildner Award, the
Matt Clark Poetry Prize, and the Greg
Grummer Poetry Award. His poems have
appeared in such journals as
New England
Review, Subtropics, Southern Review, American
Literary Review, Crab Orchard Review, New
Ohio Review
, and
Antioch Review.
He lives in
Denton, Texas.
Ronald Wallace, Series Editor
March 2012
LC: 2011041956 PS
80 pp. 6 x 9
Paper $16.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-28814-3
e-book $9.99 t
ISBN 978-0-299-28813-6
• SPRING 2012 •
“There is an ardent music behind Mark
Wagenaar’s poetry, which feels like the music
not just of his writing, but in an unusual way,
of his heard thought. I love the surprises of
image and experience, of lost and found
footing, in this book; its openness, intelli-
gence, and the quiet shine on the back of all
the poems.”
—Jean Valentine, Felix Pollak judge and
National Book Award Winner
Of related interest
Winner of the 2011 Pollak Prize in Poetry, selected by Cornelius Eady
Inspired by actual case histories of long-term missing African American children, this
provocative and heartrending collection of poems evokes the experience of what it means to
be among the missing in contemporary America.
Published March 2011
LC: 2010038896 PS 80 pp. 6 x 9
ISBN 978-0-299-28294-3 Paper $14.95 t ISBN 978-0-299-28293-6 e-book $9.99 t