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Selfwolf
     

Selfwolf

5.0 2
by Mark Halliday
 

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In his third book of poems, Mark Halliday grapples with the endless struggle between self-concern and awareness of the rights of others. Through humor, ironic twists, and refreshing candor, these poems confront a variety of situations—death, divorce, artistic egotism and envy, personal relationships—where the very idea of self is under siege.

Overview

In his third book of poems, Mark Halliday grapples with the endless struggle between self-concern and awareness of the rights of others. Through humor, ironic twists, and refreshing candor, these poems confront a variety of situations—death, divorce, artistic egotism and envy, personal relationships—where the very idea of self is under siege.

"If Selfwolf were a pop music CD, it would be hailed as Mark Halliday's breakthrough album. . . . This third collection of poems teems with unsparing confessions of misdirected lust, lost faith, regret and a winningly goofy cheerfulness in the face of all that bad stuff. . . . The informal, conversational quality of Halliday's work almost hides its artfulness, which seems to be precisely his intention."—Ken Tucker, New York Times Book Review

"With unflinching, often comic honesty about how 'ego-fetid, hostile, grasping' we are, Halliday exposes the self's wolfish hungers and weaknesses."—Andrew Epstein, Boston Review

"Mark Halliday's new book offers more of his trademark riffs on self-consciousness. His subversive, surprising, hugely enjoyable poems will make you laugh out loud, squirm in uncomfortable recognition, and appreciate anew the comedy of our daily battles for self-preservation. . . reading Halliday is pure delight. . . . I love the daring and intelligence with which Halliday skates along the shifting boundary between self within and world outside. Selfwolf slows down our habitual negotiations between 'in here' and 'out there,' exposing the edgy comedy of how we survive."—Damaris Moore, Express Books

Editorial Reviews

Donald Revell
Beautifully transgressing the boundaries between high and pop culture, between sublimity and intoxication, Selfwolf announces a new American Poetic. Mark Halliday's cadence's croon and cruise through late-century disaster to the tune of atonement. Selfwolf is a book of redemption, and I rejoice in it.
— Phoenix Poets Series
Kirkus Reviews
The third book by the author of a critical study of Wallace Stevens anticipates critics by admitting its sentimentality and flat, demotic speech—of course, the poems that indulge Halliday's delusions of greatness, though meant to be ironic, are closer to his sense of self-importance. Far too many of these colloquial narratives concern Halliday's anxieties about his academic career, and the poetry biz: "Loaded Inflections" mocks all critics, leaving true judgement only to God and the future; two poems resent other poets who don't sufficiently praise his genius; and "The Halls" bemoans the indifference of the building where he failed to get tenure. Politics and history occasion much soft thinking about the world's horrors: "I think /of the surplus of human poignancy out there." An earthquake in India ("Horrible"); a murder in Taipei ("Taipei Triangle"); a man dying Dublin ("After the Rain")—all these remind him of his luck in being alive, and result in the bathetic couplet:"The poignancy of the human is nearly too much to stand. / The way a small child at a street-corner takes your hand." Elsewhere, Halliday's less circumspect; he's a chatty bopper, like Billy Collins more than Frank O'Hara. When he's feeling guilty about his failed marriage, we know why: his guyish obsession, in several poems, with bouncing boobs and cheerleaders with "skin 21 smooth." There's something pathological in the swaying between grandeur and abasement, and then there's the simple version: a horny but sensitive regular guy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226313887
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
04/15/2010
Series:
Phoenix Poets
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
88
File size:
133 KB

What People are Saying About This

Donald Revell
Beautifully transgressing the boundaries between high and pop culture, between sublimity and intoxication, Selfwolf announces a new American poetic. Mark Halliday's cadences croon and cruise through late-century disaster to the tune of atonement. Selfwolf is a book of redemption, and I rejoice in it.

Meet the Author

Mark Halliday is distinguished professor of English at Ohio University.

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Selfwolf (Phoenix Poets) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
After hearing Mr. Halliday speak at my school, I had to buy his latest volume of poetry. His tone and style are amazing. He brings you into his personal poems and makes you jealous when you run out of things to read. An amazing book of poems.