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Silver Roses

Silver Roses Rachel Wetzsteon

Rachel Wetzsteon (1967-2009) was a poet of seemingly effortless formal grace, moving between high and popular culture with wit and heart.  This bittersweet posthumous collection is, in effect, a book of love poems, and seldom has writing on that subect been so infused with this same combination of delight, skepticism, and, in retrospect, omen.  Wetzsteon was that rare writer who could lampoon with compassion, and Silver Roses shows her at the height of her powers:  an American poet of endearing and lasting impact. 

Praise for the Book:
"The poem’s placement at the end of the book, and thus of her life, makes it a painfully optimistic gesture. But it is an inspired gesture thatripples through time; it reaches back to Keats’s hand, “now warm and capable,” and proffers the silver rose of love, of promise, the torch of art, to her true lover, the reader, and the readers yet to be born."—A.E. Stallings, Poetry

"Wetzsteon left a final collection that radiates searing pain and exceptional beauty. Her poems have a pulse, and they throb with lust, desire, and a need to be heard. Whether writing about lavender lipstick or profound loss, Wetzsteon demonstrates her keen sensitivity to the great range of life. A musicality pervades her poems, and her nuanced cadences and use of rhyme add percussive oomph to an already powerful voice. . . . Delicate beauty surrounded by thorns, Weztsteon’s poems portray a soul laid bare."—Booklist

"Silver Roses is a book (as the final line of 'Septimus' puts it) about 'the things that matter.'  Some of these things seem dauntingly large:  love, identity, the fear of change, the fear of standing still.  Others seem dauntingly small.  But in the poems of Rachel Wetzsteon all things matter because they have been given form, delivered to us by a sensibility that feels the weight and beauty of every moment as it passes.  Listening to these poems, we mourn the loss of the poet who made them so lovingly, a poet capable of harnessing every possibility the English language afforded her.  But we also live in the presence of that language, which returns us to the things of this world.  'Now I love the gold but not the going,' Wetzsteon wrote of her life-long romance with autumn.  These peoms aren't going anywhere; they are themselves the things that matter." —James Longenbach

About the Author:
Rachel Wetzsteon (1967-2009) is the author of three previous poetry collections, including Home & Away, The Other Stars, and Sakura Park, as well as a critical study of W. H. Auden.  Her poems regularly appeared in leading magazines and journals, among them The Nation, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and The Yale Review.  She received numerous awards, grants, and fellowships, including the Witter Byner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; taught at William Patterson University and the Unterberg Poetry Center at the 92nd Street Y; and was poetry editor at The New Republic. She lived in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City.   

Paperback / $16.50 U.S. ($20.50 Can.) / ISBN 978-0-89255-364-8 / 104 pages / Poetry

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