About the book: “The pastoral has always been a civic genre: shepherds’ songs written by city workers dreaming of release, of timely coincidence between feeling and nature. In Wood Circle, one of Wilkinson’s most powerful poetic books, the green thought in a green shade perishes – wildfire destroys the canopy, the Calais jungle is cleared by immigration police. The pathetic fallacy is now literal, dawn chorus imitating car alarms. And yet, each line of this astonishing collection offers a new analysis of the earth’s fever dreams. If ‘None had loved enough what / they must find by losing’, in this book’s moratorium we can find time to remember what we never loved enough. These poems sing for mortal creatures, some human, and collect their leavings: skin, bees, infants, fruits, tires. Seared by the world and everything in it, Wilkinson’s poems are radiant, damaging, a consuming memorial fire.” —Andrea Brady
About the author: John Wilkinson is an English poet now Director of the Program in Creative Writing at the University of Chicago and a Professor in the Department of English. His publications stretch back to 1976, but his most recent books are My Reef My Manifest Array (poetry, Carcanet 2019), Lyric in Its Times (criticism, Bloomsbury Academic 2019), The Following (essays, The Last Books 2000) and this year, Wood Circle (poem cycle, The Last Books). Before coming to the US in 2005, he worked for the National Health Service in the East End of London, where he was the public health lead for mental health.
About the interlocutor: Edgar Garcia is a poet and scholar of the hemispheric cultures of the Americas. He is the author of Skins of Columbus: A Dream Ethnography (Fence Books, 2019); Signs of the Americas: A Poetics of Pictography, Hieroglyphs, and Khipu (University of Chicago Press, 2020); Emergency: Reading the Popol Vuh in a Time of Crisis (forthcoming, University of Chicago Press, 2021); and, with visual artist Eamon Ore-Giron, Infinite Regress (Bom Dia Books, 2020). He is the Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago, where he also teaches in the department of Creative Writing.
Presented by the Program in Creative Writing UChicago and the Seminary Co-op Bookstore. Register here.