BN.com Gift Guide

Weapons Grade: Poems

Overview


In her poetry Terese Svoboda walks out to the edge where language is made and destroyed. Her subject is human suffering. Called “disturbing, edgy and provocative” by Book Magazine, her work is often the surreal poetry of a nightmare yet is written with such wit, verve, and passion that she can address the direst subjects. Weapons Grade is a collection of poems about the power of occupation—political and personal. They often play with sestina, sonnet, and couplets, as if only form can contain the fury of between ...
See more details below
Paperback (New)
$14.57
BN.com price
(Save 8%)$16.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (10) from $1.99   
  • New (2) from $4.31   
  • Used (8) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview


In her poetry Terese Svoboda walks out to the edge where language is made and destroyed. Her subject is human suffering. Called “disturbing, edgy and provocative” by Book Magazine, her work is often the surreal poetry of a nightmare yet is written with such wit, verve, and passion that she can address the direst subjects. Weapons Grade is a collection of poems about the power of occupation—political and personal. They often play with sestina, sonnet, and couplets, as if only form can contain the fury of between the occupier and the occupied. There's a pervading sense of dread, of expiation, of portents—even in potato salad. There's also elegy and lullaby and seduction but, in the words of the sixties tune "Wooly Bully," the reader must "Watch it now, watch it." Highly poised, grand and intensely lyrical, the poems veer from the political to the personal, then finish on the elegiac, releasing complex and unexpected meaning with emotional precision. Looking directly into the contemporary apocalyptic, Weapons Grade, Svoboda’s fifth collection of poetry, draws readers back to the radiant present.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Svoboda has such range—of subject, of emotion (from whimsical play to chillingly dead serious)—that these poems take you on a wild ride, fast and dangerous, but always in control. This is a goddamn terrific book!” —Thomas Lux, author of God Particles “Weapons Grade is both whistleblower and elegy, a tour de force in the expansive in-your-face tradition of Susan Griffin and Garry Trudeau. Svoboda is an indefatigably American writer of conscience and acuity—a documentarian and saboteur, satirist and sharp-tongued citizen, her poems dangerous and heartbreaking.” —Maureen Seaton, author of Venus Examines Her Breast “‘Let the continent flex its bicep, / a man built on steroids.’ This is Terese Svoboda’s grave view of America today, in her new collection Weapons Grade (the name of a grisly atrocity game), but she makes poems that laugh anyway! . . . Sweet—or sharp—tempered comedy empowers Svoboda to address the direst subjects in a prophetic and scary book full of hilarious noises.” —Caroline Knox, author of Quaker Guns
Library Journal
Poems of conscience often sound angry, and angry poems of conscience usually turn into cardboard. But that's not the case with Svoboda's work. Whether she's writing about war, enslavement, or a woman who disguises herself so that she can travel with a 1700s expedition, Svoboda takes a fiercely uncompromising stance while managing her language and emotions brilliantly. A heady read.
Publishers Weekly
Svoboda's fifth collection of poems walks the borders where the personal and the political meet, and where ironic humor and foreboding overlap. Her contemporary America is both “finger-licking digital,” and a place where there are “soldiers in mother's hair.” In this book's first section, war is everywhere, from a lab in Tokyo where AIDS-infected blood was used for transfusions to “the cavities of your body.” Section two takes up notions of mistranslations, misunderstandings and missed opportunities: in one poem, “a man walks into a bra”; in another a son asks of a missing father, “Is he back or forth?” The final section takes up more personal subjects, as in a poem titled “To My Brother, on the Occasion of His Second Breakdown.” Throughout, Svoboda's poems are as haunting as they are funny, as pleasurable as they are powerful. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Whether she's writing about slave children ("necessity a little bracelet of sound"), Jeanne Baret's voyage on a late 1700s expedition disguised as a man ("I recall how these islands roast and eat white women/ if there's a question of whose"), or the absolute ghastliness of war ("There are soldiers in mother's hair/ and soldiers peeling the screen"), Svoboda takes a fiercely uncompromising stance. These are often angry political poems, but they never descend into agit-prop; other writers could learn something from her brilliant management of language and emotion. As in previous sharp-minded work, whether poetry, fiction, or nonfiction (e.g., Black Glasses Like Clark Kent), Svoboda does not tell things straight but delivers cracked, impressionistic fragments bound and delivered by an incredible drive. She's particularly good when condemning U.S. military engagement ("Resistance fighters resist,/ not insurgents/ who just want to live/ where they live"), which she takes back to a shocking poem on black GIs in occupied Japan. In fact, power mongers everywhere get her goat; after Henry VIII proclaims "I'm what matters," a baby picks his royal spittle off dog fur and mutters, "Ah-blue-gabe." VERDICT Not for casual readers or right wingers, this collection should be considered by anyone serious about contemporary poetry.—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557289063
  • Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Edition description: New
  • Pages: 108
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Terese Svoboda is the author of ten books of prose and poetry, most recently Black Glasses Like Clark Kent that won the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize. Her honors in poetry include the Iowa Poetry Prize and two prizes from the Poetry Society of America, the Lucille Medwick Award, and Cecil Hemley Award. She has also won an O. Henry Prize for the short story, the Bobst Prize for fiction, a Pushcart Prize for an essay, and a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship in translation. Her opera WET premiered at Los Angeles Disney Hall in 2005. Svoboda lives in New York City.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)