The Earth Avails
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About the Author
Mark Wunderlich is the author of two previous poetry collections, Voluntary Servitude and The Anchorage, winner of the Lambda Literary Award. He teaches at Bennington College and lives in upstate New York.
"Humility, practicality, self-chastisement and hope emerge, in unrhymed couplets, musical paragraphs, and stately free verse, through language at once restrained and humane. . . . Wunderlich became known for warm, urbane poems, often of same-sex eros. Here he switches his stylistic allegiance to plainspokenness, to the speech of the hills and plains, striking a hard-to-match tone of gentle humility, expanding his poetic powers." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
"In Mark Wunderlich's terrific third collection, The Earth Avails, the earth is replete with creatures--coyote, bees, 'rat snake coiled in the cellar beams'--and the speaker moves through the world, mindful and voicing apotropaic letters, charms, and prayers. In poems sharpened by luminous details, the outer and inner worlds converge so that an albino buck leaping away becomes 'a white tooth / in the closing mouth of the woods, ' and we experience the visible world and 'the imagined world made visible.'" --Arthur Sze