Wake by Bin Ramke
(Iowa Poetry Prize)

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Throughout Bin Ramke's book of poems, winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize, certain elements recur insistently: birds and boyhood, betrayal and longings that careen between flesh and faith.

Ramke refuses to distinguish between scientific and poetic approaches to knowing the world. In Wake, the poet does not pretend to offer wisdom but instead offers words, and the words are given as much freedom as possible. The title itself resonates with all its presumptive meanings: an alternative to dreaming, a ceremony binding the living to the dead, and the pattern left briefly in water by boats--handwriting as turbulence in a fluid medium.

Elements of the world at large are woven into the language of these poems, resulting in a conversation among transcripts from the trial of Jeffery Dahmer, passages from the notebooks of John James Audubon, a meditation on the Book of Daniel, whole epic sentences out of Milton, and the modest observations of the struggling poet himself.


About Bin Ramke

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Bin Ramke is the editor of the Denver Quarterly and teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Denver. He is the author of 10 poetry collections, including Airs, Waters, Places; Theory of Mind; Tendril; and Wake. He lives in Denver, Colorado.
Published March 1, 1999 by University Of Iowa Press. 130 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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The world fleshed forth in oil paint, from Giotto to Joseph Albers, is meticulously essayed in the mixed-genre ekphraseis of Swensen's sixth full-length collection since 1984. Though the medieval and

Mar 01 1999 | Read Full Review of Wake (Iowa Poetry Prize)

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