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The Wise and Foolish Builders

Alexandra Teague

This chilling collection by the author of Mortal Geography (winner of the California Book Award in poetry) is a verse exploration of American progress and its consequences, featuring rifle heiress Sarah Winchester and her unsettling Mystery House, with cameos by Harry Houdini, Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, Buffalo Bill and many other fascinating figures. Steeped in history yet wildly imaginative, these poems commune with Winchester’s haunted legacy and that of westward expansion, connecting voices from a troubled past with their irrepressible present-day echoes. The Wise and Foolish Builders is an unmistakable accomplishment by a poet of remarkable formal skill and fantastic originality.

Praise for the book:
"Teague's powerful, relevant poems. . .give us a glimpse of our past, and mirror our present.” — ALA Booklist

“What a fascinating book—a brilliantly deft weave of curious history, and haunting air, ‘thickened with a churn of voices.’ What vivid poems could feel more prescient in our troubles times?”—Naomi Shihab Nye

“In poems of startling formal range and remarkable intimacy, Alexandra Teague creates a world as full of surprises as the Winchester Mystery House it chronicles. She uses the figures of the Mystery House and Sarah Winchester herself to cast light on the ways in which our unrelenting need for more (things, land, love, you name it) has created a legacy of violence and loss that cannot be undone. This book challenges us to consider the house we’ve built together and how we’ll ever find our way outside of it again.”—Gabrielle Calvocoressi

"In , Alexandra Teague lets us in on some terHer poems are ingenious documentaries that explore American westward expansion and the gun that helped it happen.”—Jill McDonough

About the author: 
Alexandra Teague teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Idaho. 

Original trade paperback / $15.95 (Can. $17.50) / ISBN 978-0-89255-460-7 / 96 pages / Poetry

Also by available from Persea by this author:
Mortal Geography

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