Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures

Mary Ruefle. Wave (Consortium, dist.), $25 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-933517-57-5
Profound, unpredictable, charming, and outright funny, this collection of unconventional prose about poetry might secure an audience far larger than the one that already exists for Ruefle’s own poems. Known for her post-Surrealist lyric and for erasures, Ruefle (The Most of It) began to write prose under protest when her teaching program required lectures. Those protests survive in the lectures’ inventive forms: they stop short, ramble, tell jokes, bring in sad moments from the author’s own history of reading and rereading, and end up with seriously useful advice for writers, strange and memorable claims about poems and poetry. One lecture asks why poetry seems less like the sun than the moon; another chapter insists that “Poets are dead people talking about being alive.” A lecture on Emily Dickinson brings new light to that poet by juxtaposing her with Emily Brontë, and both women with Anne Frank. These informal talks have far more staying power and verve than most of their kind. Readers may come away dazzled, as well as amused, feeling (as Ruefle says about her bookish childhood) that “this was the secret labyrinth of reading, and there was a secret tunnel connecting it to my life.” (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/25/2012
Release date: 08/01/2012
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.