The Art of Topiary: Poems

(Author) (Translator)

Product Details

$18.00  $16.74
Milkweed Editions
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.4 X 0.6 inches | 0.45 pounds
Multiple Languages

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About the Author

Jan Wagner is the recipient of the 2017 Georg Büchner Prize, one of Germany's most prestigious honors in literature. He has published six collections of poems since 2001, as well as two collections of essays, several edited volumes, and a number of translations. For his poetry, which has been translated into more than thirty languages, Wagner has received fellowships from the German Academy, the Villa Massimo in Rome, the Villa Aurora, and elsewhere. His literary awards include the Anna Seghers Award, the Ernst Meister Award for Poetry, and the Friedrich Hölderlin Award. A member of the German Academy of Language and Literature, Wagner lives in Berlin.

David Keplinger is the author of four volumes of poetry, most recently Another City. He has won the T. S. Eliot Prize, the C. P. Cavafy Poetry Prize, the Erskine J. Poetry Prize, and the Colorado Book Award, as well as two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and grants from the DC, Danish, and Pennsylvania Councils on the Arts. He directs the MFA program in creative writing at American University in Washington, DC.


The Art of Topiary is a poetry collection of indescribable wonder. . . . The contrast between the openness of Wagner's words and the tight adherence to form only makes each more beautiful. David Keplinger's care in translating these from the original German never demands to be felt, and yet is inescapable. The Art of Topiary will stick with you long after its poems have been thoroughly devoured.--The Atlantic

International Praise for Jan Wagner

"The longer Jan Wagner writes, the more choreographed the scenes seem to be, the restraint, the historical, the remote material are more present and less sought. The effect is impressive: Jan Wagner is close to a Master of Delight."--Süddeutsche Zeitung

"In his poetry he is a wise observer with a cheerful curiosity. Watching him work is enjoyable, as he describes pure enjoyment. . . . Jan Wagner transforms life into a new life. . . . In its best moments, his poetry transcends the metaphor of its appetizing and ingenious pastry-art."--Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"Charming, interesting and surprising in the choice of topics . . . Through a choice of extremely specific details Jan Wagner manages to create a sense of a common experience and wonder at being alive."--Oxford Brookes Poetry Center