In her third book, Jana Prikryl probes the notion of midlife, when past and future blur in the equidistance. Balancing formal innovation with deeply personal reflection, Midwood subtly but impiously explores love and sex and marriage and motherhood in plain, urgent language. Written for the most part early every morning over the course of a year, in all its changing seasons, Midwood includes a series of poems looking at and talking to trees; Prikryl’s careful attention to the ordinary world outside the window forms an alternative measure of time that leafs and ramifies. With their rapid shifts of scale and unusual directness, these poems find a new language for confronting our moment.
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Jana Prikryl was born in the Czech Republic and moved to Canada at the age of six. She is the author of three books of poems, Midwood, The After Party, and No Matter. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship, and an award in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Prikryl lives in Brooklyn and is an editor at The New York Review of Books.
Ben Lerner is the author of seven books of poetry and prose as well as several collaborations with visual artists, including Gold Custody (with Barbara Bloom), recently published by Mack. His most recent novel, The Topeka School, won the Los Angeles Times Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He has received fellowships from the Fulbright, Guggenheim, and MacArthur Foundations, among other honors, and is a Distinguished Professor of English at Brooklyn College.
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