Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures by Mary Ruefle, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures

Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures

by Mary Ruefle
     
 

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This is one of the wisest books I've read in years... —New York Times Book Review

No writer I know of comes close to even trying to articulate the weird magic of poetry as Ruefle does. She acknowledges and celebrates in the odd mystery and mysticism of the act—the fact that poetry must both guard and reveal, hint at and pull back... Also, and

Overview


This is one of the wisest books I've read in years... —New York Times Book Review

No writer I know of comes close to even trying to articulate the weird magic of poetry as Ruefle does. She acknowledges and celebrates in the odd mystery and mysticism of the act—the fact that poetry must both guard and reveal, hint at and pull back... Also, and maybe most crucially, Ruefle’s work is never once stuffy or overdone: she writes this stuff with a level of seriousness-as-play that’s vital and welcome, that doesn’t make writing poetry sound anything but wild, strange, life-enlargening fun. -The Kenyon Review

Profound, unpredictable, charming, and outright funny...These informal talks have far more staying power and verve than most of their kind. Readers may come away dazzled, as well as amused... —Publishers Weekly

This is a book not just for poets but for anyone interested in the human heart, the inner-life, the breath exhaling a completion of an idea that will make you feel changed in some way. This is a desert island book. —Matthew Dickman

The accomplished poet is humorous and self-deprecating in this collection of illuminating essays on poetry, aesthetics and literature... —San Francisco Examiner

Over the course of fifteen years, Mary Ruefle delivered a lecture every six months to a group of poetry graduate students. Collected here for the first time, these lectures include "Poetry and the Moon," "Someone Reading a Book Is a Sign of Order in the World," and "Lectures I Will Never Give." Intellectually virtuosic, instructive, and experiential, Madness, Rack, and Honey resists definition, demanding instead an utter—and utterly pleasurable—immersion. Finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award.

Mary Ruefle has published more than a dozen books of poetry, prose, and erasures. She lives in Vermont.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - David Kirby
This is one of the wisest books I've read in years, and it would be a shame to think that only poets will read it. Yes, poetry is the nominal topic…But Ruefle's mission is not to—yawn—remind everybody how precious poetry is; rather, it's to give pleasure by showing how the mind works when it's working most pleasurably. In this she succeeds.
The Washington Post - Michael Lindgren
…dazzling and idiosyncratic…the freshest and most startling piece of criticism I have read in a long time.
Publishers Weekly
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.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933517575
Publisher:
Wave Books
Publication date:
08/14/2012
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
153,880
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author


Mary Ruefle is the author of Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures, a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism (Wave Books, 2012), and Selected Poems (Wave Books, 2010), winner of the William Carlos Williams Award. She has published ten other books of poetry, a book of prose (The Most of It, Wave Books, 2008), and a comic book, Go Home and Go to Bed!, (Pilot Books/Orange Table Comics, 2007); she is also an erasure artist, whose treatments of nineteenth century texts have been exhibited in museums and galleries, and include the publication of A Little White Shadow (Wave Books, 2006). Ruefle is the recipient of numerous honors, including 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, and teaches in the MFA program at Vermont College.

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