The Lichtenberg Figures

Overview

The Lichtenberg Figures, winner of the Hayden Carruth Award, is an unconventional sonnet sequence that interrogates the relationship between language and memory, violence and form. “Lichtenberg figures” are fern-like electrical patterns that can appear on (and quickly fade from) the bodies of people struck by lightning.

Throughout this playful and elegiac debut—with its flashes of autobiography, intellection, comedy, and critique—the vocabulary of academic theory collides with ...

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The Lichtenberg Figures

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Overview

The Lichtenberg Figures, winner of the Hayden Carruth Award, is an unconventional sonnet sequence that interrogates the relationship between language and memory, violence and form. “Lichtenberg figures” are fern-like electrical patterns that can appear on (and quickly fade from) the bodies of people struck by lightning.

Throughout this playful and elegiac debut—with its flashes of autobiography, intellection, comedy, and critique—the vocabulary of academic theory collides with American slang and the idiom of the Old Testament meets the jargon of the Internet to display an eclectic sensibility.

Ben Lerner, the youngest poet ever published by Copper Canyon Press, is co-founder of No: a journal of the arts. He earned an MFA from Brown University and is currently a Fulbright scholar in Spain.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The Lichtenberg figures are the fernlike patterns that appear on anything struck by lightning. And surely lighting strikes with this first collection, winner of the Hayden Carruth Award for Emerging Poets, which blends biting social commentary with unexpected images. (LJ 10/15/04) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Ben Lerner is the author of three books of poetry and was named a finalist for the National Book Award for his second book, Angle of Yaw. He holds degrees from Brown Univeristy, co-founded No: a journal of the arts, and teaches at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2005

    lightning

    This book is the most accomplished synthesis of the competing trends and tendencies in American poetry I have encountered in years.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2004

    Clever. Satirical. Honest.

    At times, deep enough to preserve certain intimacies, but all the while intriguing. A truly enjoyable read. Congratulations, Ben.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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