Joshua Harmon is the author of two previous books-Scape, a collection of poems, and Quinnehtukqut, a novel. His writing has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. He no longer lives in Poughkeepsie.
Le Spleen de Poughkeepsieby Joshua Harmon
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Winner of the 2010 Akron Poetry Prize, Le Spleen de Poughkeepsie is "a tender anti-epic, a grunge-tinged love song to America’s benighted post-industrial heartland." Harmon’s Poughkeepsie shimmers just beyond the borders of banal recognition. "If you're not part of the problem, / you're part of the lengthening / tragedy," Harmon writes in an introductory pastoral, seeking out "the stray / detours and workarounds of the secret / city inside the more obvious one… on the outskirts of the absurd / attention to the material life." Poughkeepsie is that city of the heart where no one can look at anyone else "alone," where "the noise of beauty" is a cop’s bullet polishing off a "traffic-struck doe," where "five dollars takes you anywhere in this town / except out of it."
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