Following the acclaimed Dunce, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, comes Mary Ruefle’s latest prose publication The Book.
True to its bold title, The Book affirms Mary Ruefle’s legacy as (dubbed by Publishers Weekly) “the patron saint of childhood and the everyday.” With the same curiosity found in Madness, Rack, and Honey and My Private Property, Ruefle’s prose here feels both omniscient and especially intimate. “It seems I believe in a bygone world though I no longer live there,” she writes. “Will I continue to read about all that is dusty?” In the spirit of friendship, Ruefle generously invites us to query ourselves as readers and thinkers in a world that will eventually endure without us.
The Wrapped Book
We Need To Talk About Ice Cream
A Lesson In History
My Life As A Scholar
My Memory of A Story by Lydia Davis
I Read Years Ago And Never Forgot
What Happens When You Die
The Cloud Beaters
The Heart, What Is It?
I Dream Of Jung
My Dying Friend
Letter To Elizabeth Bishop
An American Haiku
Teeth Of Noon
The Plum And The Devil
Mary Ruefle is the author of many books, including Dunce (Wave Books, 2019), which was a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize, longlisted for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics’ Circle Award, as well as a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize. She is also the author of My Private Property (Wave Books, 2016), Trances of the Blast (Wave Books, 2013), Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures (Wave Books, 2012), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism, and Selected Poems (Wave Books, 2010), winner of the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She has also published a comic book, Go Home and Go to Bed! (Pilot Books/Orange Table Comics, 2007), and is an erasure artist, whose treatments of nineteenth century texts have been exhibited in museums and galleries and published in A Little White Shadow (Wave Books, 2006). Ruefle is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Robert Creeley Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a Whiting Award. She lives in Bennington, Vermont, where she serves as the state’s poet laureate.
Straightforward in form, comic and companionable in tone, blessed with the Martian gift of seeing the strange in the ordinary and vice-versa... —Joel Brouwer, Poetry
Ruefle’s speakers muse in a very deliberate, declarative syntax in a lot of universalities, generalities, and absolutes, speaking often for all of us. —Adrien Blevins, Ploughshares
For more than thirty years, she has freshened American poetry by humbly glorifying both the inner life and the outward experience. —Rodney Jones, Poetry Society of America
[She is] a poet of visionary imagination, abiding sensitivity, and melancholy humor. —Publishers Weekly
Ruefle is the Poet Laureate of the City of Ideas — surreal and lyrical and deeply moving at the same time. — Michael Klein, Los Angeles Review of Books
They record small moments with sweeping scope, moments in which the speed of thought seems to outpace real time. –– Elisa Gabbert, The New York Times