True Faith

Overview

"Despite the rapids these poems navigate, each poem has an internal cohesiveness that cannot have been easy to achieve."--Dana Wilde, Bangor Daily News

"The human voice is captured beautifully as one can almost hear the fist pounding the podium—or kitchen table—at the end of each line.”—Gently Read Literature

"Nowhere else in American poetry do I come across a passion, a cunning, and a joy greater than his. And a deadly accuracy. I see him as ...

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True Faith

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Overview

"Despite the rapids these poems navigate, each poem has an internal cohesiveness that cannot have been easy to achieve."--Dana Wilde, Bangor Daily News

"The human voice is captured beautifully as one can almost hear the fist pounding the podium—or kitchen table—at the end of each line.”—Gently Read Literature

"Nowhere else in American poetry do I come across a passion, a cunning, and a joy greater than his. And a deadly accuracy. I see him as one of the supreme poets of his generation."–Gerald Stern

The poems in True Faith are earthy, lyrical, honest, and empathic in a style that is both gritty and urbane. With wry humor, Ira Sadoff's latest collection addresses family, faith, and the quiet joys of aging.

Ira Sadoff currently teaches in the MFA program at Drew University and serves as the Arthur Jeremiah Roberts professor of English at Colby College in Maine.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
“I think I want everyone and everything to be loved so much/ I get dour,” Sadoff writes in his eighth collection. Sadoff sees himself and others with acute awareness, probing at the world’s imperfections until he reaches something spiritual he calls “the jumble of syllables we utter when we approach the unsayable.” Pushing the reader to a white-hot place, he explores “our fevers, those hungers/ that have no words around them, no illustrations.” We cannot construe ourselves, and yet want others to try to explain us. With wry humor, Sadoff states, “decipher me, we say to the wilderness./ Perhaps we need our own private radios./ If so, I’d be a station with too much static.” There is palpable frustration in Sadoff’s poems, but also pleasure in being human and being scarred by things like “soured love affairs.” These mistakes and lost loves, he argues, are what make us more than humans. In his poem, “To the Gods” he writes, “If I could sing I’d want to distill the thrill/ of her, and more I’d want that lilting playful voice/ to stay with me, all the sing-song iambs/ that forestall the crash of loving/ too much, hanging on too long.” Sadoff laments the gods aren’t listening, but he finds gods everywhere. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

“The remembering minds in these poems bounce from one probing question or self-abrasive feeling to another with a sort of Kafka-like cohesive disjointure…There is something reassuring and anxious about the fashioning of coherence out of utter confusion.”—BDN Maine Living

"And rarely does a speaker feel so complete on the page. He [Sadoff] operates with a clear confidence of a man who trusts his memory, yet is tempered with humility and a pointed self-awareness that includes an acute awareness of irony and humor as the profane and sacred coexist, not on the same planet or even city, but in the same room. There’s an honest volatility that makes these poems explode off the page, quickly leaping from lyric grace to a swagger and then back to a peaceful confession…” —storySouth

An Academy of American Poets' Notable Book of 2012, True Faith, "poses questions about happiness and resilience...[and] often gesture towards a common humanity...[in which] moments of divinity emerge in unexpected places...to Sadoff, it is imagination that allows faith, fosters possibility, and evidences beauty,” --Claudia Rankine

"Poems that visibly grapple with difficult subjects, and that often do so with language that cuts roughly to the bone..." - West Branch Wired

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934414828
  • Publisher: BOA Editions, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 4/10/2012
  • Series: American Poets Continuum
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 980,929
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Ira Sadoff: Ira Sadoff is the author of seven collections of poetry, including Barter, and Grazing (U. of Illinois), a novel, O. Henry prize-winning short stories, and The Ira Sadoff Reader (a collection of stories, poems, and essays about contemporary poetry). He is the recipient of a Creative Arts Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts and a Fellowship from the Guggenheim foundation.

His poems have been widely anthologized, including in the Harper Anthology of American Literature, and The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Great American Prose Poems, and The Best American Poetry 2002 and 2008.

His newest critical book, History Matters: Contemporary Poetry on the Margins of Culture, on the relationship between poetry and culture, was published in 2009 by the University of Iowa Press.

Former poetry editor of The Antioch Review and co-founder of The Seneca Review, he has taught at the Iowa Writers Workshop, and the MFA programs at the University of Virginia, Warren Wilson College, and currently teaches at Colby College and the MFA program at Drew University.

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