Being Reflected Upon

A memoir in verse from one of America's legendary poets

In a New York Times review of Alice Notley’s 2007 collection In the Pines, Joel Brouwer wrote that “the radical freshness of Notley’s poems stems not from what they talk about, but how they talk, in a stream-of-consciousness style that both describes and dramatizes the movement of the poet’s restless mind, leaping associatively from one idea or sound to the next.” Notley’s new collection is at once a window into the sources of her telepathic and visionary poetics, and a memoir through poems of her Paris-based life between 2000 and 2017, when she finished treatment for her first breast cancer. As Notley wrote these poems she realized that events during this period were connected to events in previous decades; the work moves from reminiscences of her mother and of growing up in California to meditations on illness and recovery to various poetic adventures in Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, and Edinburgh. It is also concerned with the mysteries of consciousness and the connection between the living and dead, “stream-of-consciousness” teasing out a lived physics or philosophy.
© David Barnes

Alice Notley was born in Bisbee, Arizona, in 1945 and grew up in Needles, California. She is the author of more than thirty-five books of poetry, including Mysteries of Small Houses (Penguin, 1998, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize); Disobedience (Penguin, 2001, winner of the Griffin Prize); and Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems 1970-2005, which received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Her honors also include an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. She lives and works in Paris.

View titles by Alice Notley

About

A memoir in verse from one of America's legendary poets

In a New York Times review of Alice Notley’s 2007 collection In the Pines, Joel Brouwer wrote that “the radical freshness of Notley’s poems stems not from what they talk about, but how they talk, in a stream-of-consciousness style that both describes and dramatizes the movement of the poet’s restless mind, leaping associatively from one idea or sound to the next.” Notley’s new collection is at once a window into the sources of her telepathic and visionary poetics, and a memoir through poems of her Paris-based life between 2000 and 2017, when she finished treatment for her first breast cancer. As Notley wrote these poems she realized that events during this period were connected to events in previous decades; the work moves from reminiscences of her mother and of growing up in California to meditations on illness and recovery to various poetic adventures in Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, and Edinburgh. It is also concerned with the mysteries of consciousness and the connection between the living and dead, “stream-of-consciousness” teasing out a lived physics or philosophy.

Author

© David Barnes

Alice Notley was born in Bisbee, Arizona, in 1945 and grew up in Needles, California. She is the author of more than thirty-five books of poetry, including Mysteries of Small Houses (Penguin, 1998, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize); Disobedience (Penguin, 2001, winner of the Griffin Prize); and Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems 1970-2005, which received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Her honors also include an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. She lives and works in Paris.

View titles by Alice Notley

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