Innovative lyric poetry breathes new life into 21st century nature and culture.
Winner of the The Poetry Society of America's William Carlos Williams Award (2006)
In her newest poems, Brenda Hillman continues her exploration of nature and culture in ways that demonstrate her original place in experimental lyric traditions. Pieces of Air in the Epic is the second book of a tetrology that takes the elements—earth, air, water, fire—as its subject. As Hillman's previous collection, Cascadia, explores "earth," the present collection considers "air"—the many meanings of the word and the life-giving medium we breathe—to test a reality that is both political and personal.
These formally inventive poems reexamine epic and lyric, braiding fact and dream, the social with the self. Hypnotic, spare verses use air on the page as a matrix for cultural healing; some are presided over by a feminine presence and address war in human history, while others are set in streets, parks and wilderness. There are meditations on auras, dust motes, and reading in libraries as acts of restorative memory. This work fuses animist consciousness with cautionary prophecy, and belongs to the mode of H.D. and Robert Duncan. Hillman's poetry continues to explore ways in which human life might be redeemed by imagination.
Air in the Epic
Green Pants & a Bamboo Flute
The Value of Empty Protest
Doppler Effect in Diagram Three
Study of Air in Triangles
6 Components of Aristotle
White Fir Description
The Corporate Number Rescue Album
The E in Being
Nine Unititled Epyllions
Clouds Near San Leandro
Brittle Economics Monographs
Epoch of Dust
String Theory Sutra
Mars Field Speaks to Vvedensky
Eyes in Aspens
Acknowledgments and Notes
About the Author
BRENDA HILLMAN is the author of seven books of poetry, all published by Wesleyan. She teaches at St. Mary's College in Moraga, California.
"Were it not such a pun, one would be tempted to call this collection literally breathtaking; Hillman has pursued an ambitious program with remarkably fine-tuned language."~Library Journal
""Were it not such a pun, one would be tempted to call this collection literally breathtaking; Hillman has pursued an ambitious program with remarkably fine-tuned language.""~Library Journal
""Reaching for prophetic powers without abandoning small-scale details, playing with page-based form while attending to the sound of each line, Hillman's seventh book...may be her best book yet.""~Publishers Weekly