Still Life


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$18.00  $16.74
Publish Date
6.3 X 8.3 X 0.5 inches | 0.5 pounds
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About the Author

Jay Hopler was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1970. He earned a BA in English and American Literature from New York University, an MA in Creative Writing from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars, an MFA in Creative Writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and a PhD in American Studies from Purdue University. His first collection of poetry, Green Squall (2006), was chosen by Louise Glück as the winner of the Yale Younger Poets Prize; his second collection, The Abridged History of Rainfall (2016), was a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry. Hopler's poems take as their starting point a formal virtuosity rooted in idiosyncrasy, passion of vision, and the beautiful (sometimes not-so-beautiful) violence of emotion. They are by turns plainspoken, erudite, opaque, clear, serious, and broodingly funny. Hopler is a dexterous poet, but never dogmatic. His poems make sense but not points; they think and reel and describe the broken world, without a wasted word. What the likes of G.M. Hopkins and Wallace Stevens and Robert Hayden carried out, Jay Hopler continues and expands upon, to gorgeous effect. According to poet Katie Ford, "Hopler's vision and voice [are] both painfully complex because of how much of the world he allows to attach to him, to stake its claim on him."Hopler is also an editor and translator. His works include The Killing Spirit: An Anthology of Murder for Hire (1998), Before the Door of God: An Anthology of Devotional Poetry (edited with his spouse, poet and Renaissance scholar Kimberly Johnson, 2013), and The Museum of Small Dark Things: 25 Poems by Georg Trakl (2016). The recipient of numerous honors and awards, including a Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation, a Whiting Award, the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, two National "Best Books" Award from USA Book News, two Florida Book Awards, a Foreword Reviews Book-of-the-Year Award, and the Rome Prize in Literature, Hopler directs the program in creative writing at the University of South Florida.


"People with advanced aggressive cancers automatically become authorities on mortality. Poets with such cancers have been dealt, at great cost, four aces. And for the wild ones, like Jay Hopler, cancer can be a field day. The bleak friskiness here is not new, nor is the swaggering rancor (like Berryman, who was also proud to be right in his dire predictions). What is new is gratitude: for the 'atomic girl' it is his extraordinary good fortune to meet and ultimately marry; for the opportunity of art, which lends to his passions' duration. There is a difference, marked in these poems, between rage at the fact of mortality and rage at the diagnosis of its imminence. And the latter infuses Hopler's extravagant jokes and glittering improvisations with the urgency and weight of last words."
--Louise Glück, winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature

Praise for Jay Hopler

"By these poems, your faith will be shattered and restored, restored and wondrously shattered again."
--Craig Morgan Teicher

"Hopler's vision and voice, both painfully complex because of how much of the world he allows to attach to him, to stake its claim on him, teach us we are in the presence of lasting, inimitable poems. No one writes like Hopler. And no one ever will."
--Katie Ford