Synthesizing Gravity: Selected Prose


Product Details

$25.00  $23.00
Grove Press
Publish Date
5.1 X 7.2 X 1.2 inches | 0.75 pounds
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About the Author

Kay Ryan is a lifetime Californian whose honors include the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal awarded by President Obama. She served two terms as U.S. Poet Laureate and is a former MacArthur Fellow.



"Synthesizing Gravity is a delight, if a tart and idiosyncratic one... There is no mystical bombast here whatsoever. Indeed, there is very nearly the opposite, delivered by a writer with a full command of the English sentence and an electric talent for metaphor... [I]f Ryan gives us a view through a keyhole, it's a view often made richer by its constraints."--New York Times

"Reading Ryan's writing will charge and recharge the mind. This is the first collection of nonfiction from Ryan, a national treasure.... [and] a wonderful entry point to her work."--San Francisco Chronicle

"Brilliant...For poetry enthusiasts and skeptics alike, this will be an inviting portal into the mind of one of America's greatest living writers."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Damn fine prose ... What a wonderful voice [Ryan] displays... She's a kind of wisecracking philosopher, a truly original thinker, a quantum physicist of space who also, clearly, knows how her own clear voice sounds better than when alone."--John Freeman, "Lit Hub's Most Anticipated Books of 2020"

"An eminent American poet turns to prose to illuminate her craft and her life... You will come away from [Kay Ryan's] refreshing Synthesizing Gravity: Selected Prose--her first collection of nonfiction--with a deeper appreciation of poetry's worth."--Shelf Awareness

Praise for Kay Ryan:
"[Ryan] has the uncanny ability to construct a tiny word-mechanism that produces the experience of genuine wonder." --Washington Post

"Everything [Ryan's] eye falls upon takes on a brisk, beautifully complete clarity. Her tidy lines disguise an enormous intelligence and tonal warmth: a ferocious capacity for finding the essence of things." --Los Angeles Times

"Ryan's poems are consistent delights. . . [they] are what Robert Frost said all poems must be, momentary stays against confusion." --San Francisco Chronicle

"{Ryan] excels at aphoristic wit, yet reveals an intensity of emotion . . . You won't find any clutter in her work, which never fails to surprise, enlighten and delight." --Newsday

"You can't help consuming [her] poems quickly, the way you are supposed to consume freshly made cocktails: while they are still smiling at you. But you immediately double back--what was that?--and their moral and intellectual bite blindsides you." --New York Times

"Ryan's poems are witty, reserved, unprepossessing, impersonal, small-scale, as well as short-lined, practical rather than spiritual, never boastful."--Guardian

"Melancholy lucidity is Ryan's greatest gift." --New Yorker