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George Washington: Poems
     

George Washington: Poems

by Adam Fitzgerald
 

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A groundbreaking collection from one of our most acclaimed young poets about personal loss and consumer anxiety in the American suburbs.
In the wake ofthe critical success of The Late Parade (“poetry as lush as any of Keats’s odes,” New York Times Book Review), Adam Fitzgerald’s George Washington follows in the documentary poetics tradition

Overview

A groundbreaking collection from one of our most acclaimed young poets about personal loss and consumer anxiety in the American suburbs.
In the wake ofthe critical success of The Late Parade (“poetry as lush as any of Keats’s odes,” New York Times Book Review), Adam Fitzgerald’s George Washington follows in the documentary poetics tradition of William Carlos Williams’s In the American Grain and Susan Howe’s My Emily Dickinson. These frenetic poems channel the proper names and product placement in the suburban New Jersey memescape of the 1990s. Fitzgerald’s catalogs—a world of video games and love songs, entertainment franchises and widespread anomie—seek out the proxies by which millions now live their most intimate experiences, examining everything from sexuality and faith to the spectacles of shopping and mass shootings. The poet’s memory may prove as fungible as the once-ubiquitous VHS cassette, but these queer poems form a hypertext archive of life as it’s packaged and purveyed. Fitzgerald’s “primal vision” (Harold Bloom), so wildly alive in The Late Parade, metamorphoses into an exhilarating exploration of Americana’s dark origins.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Jeff Gordiner
…brilliant and necessary…George Washington…barrels forward with a confidence that marks [Fitzgerald] as a young poet…to be reckoned with. He piles on plenty of imagery that captures America (largely the New Jersey of his childhood) as a dreary name-brandy shopping mall, but impeccable comic timing prevents him from drifting too far into the Debbie Downer zone. Some of his opening lines are deadpan jewels—part Frank O'Hara, part Tig Notaro.
Jeff Gordinier - New York Times
“Brilliant and necessary. . . . George Washington, [Fitzgerald’s] second book, barrels forward with a confidence that marks him as a young poet—he is 32—to be reckoned with.”
Zachary Pace - Bookforum
“[Fitzgerald is] already an eminent figure in twenty-first century poetry. . . . A mature, resonant, triumphant collection of wistful elegies and whimsical love poems, George Washington proves that Fitzgerald is one of the most brilliantly multifaceted poets writing today.”
Claudia Rankine
“George Washington, Adam Fitzgerald’s anticipated new collection, journeys with confident speed past the moment of inception for any given poem. Whoever—father or lover—died happened outside the frame of these virtuosic poems. A fury of lists, names, places, from literary figures to TV stations, replaces biography and becomes experience. The graveyard is now the Courtyard Marriot. Elegy is buried inside the days and despite all that reappears, ‘You don’t come back. . . . We welcome them without you.’ These exponentially expansive poems formally hold their grief at a distance between Mary Mother of God and The Empire Strikes Back. Fitzgerald’s ‘sedentary grammars’ and ‘interior graphics’ live exquisitely underground. This is stunning poetry.”
Eileen Myles
“This book is a major crossing, the poet steps lightly on loads of tingly crap like the apocalyptically organized photos of Andreas Gursky or Hart Crane’s intentionality in a whole new place. No one understands postmodernity better than Jersey boy prelate Adam Fitzgerald who stands tall and grounded as a poet of heart, and excess: cries visionary Madonna tears without irony because the monuments on his riverbanks though toxic and hallucinatory now weep fortitude; even prayer.”
Colm Tóibín
“The cadences in George Washington are meticulously, rigorously controlled. The energy comes from the conflict between the shining wit, the wry observation, the gorgeous phrasing and the need to remain rooted, true, tactful and in the American grain. On display we find a most interesting sensibility—troubled, amused, laconic, playful—plus a poet in possession of a very serious gift.”
Cathy Park Hong
“If there are no ideas but in things, Fitzgerald’s ‘things’ have gotten out of hand: trademarked, shrink-wrapped, mass-produced, including memory itself, which has become a market-engineered, instantly retrievable ‘thing’ called nostalgia. Fitzgerald voraciously returns to the 90s, when there was just enough technology and everyone hung out at the mall and America had a budget surplus before its precipitous decline. George Washington is as lurid as a neon Trapper Keeper, relentless and completely frightening; an astonishing read.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781631491009
Publisher:
Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
09/27/2016
Pages:
112
Sales rank:
638,065
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Adam Fitzgerald is the author of The Late
Parade and George Washington. New poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry,
Granta, Boston Review, the New York Review of Books, and elsewhere.
Fitzgerald is contributing editor of Literary Hub, teaches at NYU, and directs The Home School. He lives in New York.

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