Wilder: Poems


Product Details

$16.00  $14.88
Milkweed Editions
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.4 X 0.5 inches | 0.3 pounds

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About the Author

Claire Wahmanholm is the author of Night Vision, winner of the 2017 New Michigan Press/DIAGRAM chapbook competition. Her poems have appeared in Paperbag, PANK, Saltfront, Waxwing, Bennington Review, The Collapsar, Newfound, New Poetry from the Midwest 2017, 32 Poems, Best New Poets 2015, Memorious, The Journal, and Kenyon Review Online. Her second collection, Redmouth, is forthcoming from Tinderbox Editions in 2019. She lives and teaches in the Twin Cities.


Praise for Wilder

"A lyric and formally daring collection."--Poets & Writers

"Wahmanholm's careful curation of words and sounds cradle the reader . . . The poems in Wilder are powerful and compelling, interested not only in confronting the rifts in our history and landscape, but connecting us to each other."--Arkansas International

"Wahmanholm moves lyrically through an apocalyptic disaster in her stunning and disquieting debut. . . . Wahmanholm's poems are studies in devastation and stark representations of the accompanying shock."--Publishers Weekly

"Wilder is a stark and uncompromising meditation on the apocalyptic present. A haunting debut."--Stephen Sparks, Little Infinite

"A stunning debut . . . At the heart of the collection lies a profound chorus of ambivalence: a loose line through calls for warning, and calls for mourning."--Frontier Poetry

"Terrifying and beautiful."--MinnPost

"Long after I finished reading Wilder, I was in grief that its beauty had ended, and also in grief over the spoiled world it describes. Stripped wholly of autobiographical content, the poems in this book seem like the texts written by an ancient collective--texts that are at once full of wonder and bewilderment, cosmic vision and earthly pain. Except that the book's voices aren't those of the ancients after all, but of those in a disturbingly probable future where bleach dapples the ground, relaxation tapes play in manic loops, there are bombs in everyone's bellies, and grief travels through the body like mercury. Intimate as well as mythic, Wilder is a staggeringly dark proposition about where we are going. And while the book offers no easy scenarios of rescue or solace, its lyricism is nonetheless steeped in vibrant making. As the speaker of one poem says, 'We had seen many last things: the last acorn, the last lightning storm, the last tide.' And maybe, just maybe, in the artfulness brought to that exquisitely vatic catalog, the work of repair takes place."--Rick Barot

"Claire Wahmanholm channels the singular voice of H. D. as she travels us through a landscape wounded, this time not by the industrial military complex, but by the industrial greed complex. Wahmanholm's gorgeous, epic lyric breathes across time and place, self and other, blame and consequence--placing the song of impossible hope not with our news cycle but in our lungs, on our tongues. In its end, this oracular voice teaches us that despite it all we grow to 'see deeply into each other, all the way to the marrow.' Please God, may it be so."--Rebecca Gayle Howell

"Wilder is a gorgeous, heady book of fables touched with a kind of black moss, or jellyfish tendrils, or nets and ghosts. Throughout the collection, we are implicated in a never-ending journey--continuously emerging from the underneath of things, the excavations of the world, the lightless places that lead to the sea. Moments are exquisitely strange and strangely exquisite. There is an abundance of being lost, of encroaching upon apocalyptic moments, of falling back to burning music. In Wilder, we are all eternally, or suddenly, feral children left to our own shared devices. Merry with memories that are now suspect, we are led on circular treks through one shifting illusion after another. Doom and freedom seem to be the same in these landscapes but our senses are more alive than ever. Here we are howling, smoking, crooked, afloat through skies of vultures and honeycombs."--Sun Yung Shin

"Claire Wahmanholm's Wilder is bewildering and born of collapse. These searing poems spring not only from the end but from the imagined after, excavating from the ruins of this world 'the birds swooping from the trees to land / beside their own bones, // our bodies reaching down to grab our shadows by the hands.' I cannot recall a collection of poems that thrilled and devastated me more." --Maggie Smith