At the heart of Joshua Rivkin's debut collection Suitor is a profound wrestling with desire, history, and the big questions of how we make and perform a self in the world. In conversation with the confessional tradition, Suitor begins with a sequence of poems about a mother's boyfriends and lovers, and how these relationships inform the speaker's own understanding about eros and masculinity. At the center of the book is a lyric essay, "The Haber Problem," that moves beyond the self and personal history to retell the story of the scientist Fritz Haber. Later sequences and poems reflect on the past with erotic directness, longing, and lyric intensity. With grace and honesty, the poems of Suitor ask what it means to be a suitor in the fullest sense--to follow, to pursue, to chase the inexplicable hunger at the heart of desire.
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About the Author
Joshua Rivkin is the author of Chalk: The Art and Erasure of Cy Twombly, a New York Times Book Review editor's choice and finalist for 2019 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography and the Marfield Prize, the National Award for Arts Writing. His poems and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Slate, Southern Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Best New Poets. A former Fulbright Fellow in Rome, Italy, as well as a Stegner Fellow in poetry, he has received awards and scholarships from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Rivkin lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.