The University of Wisconsin Press
Betsy Andrews's sweeping, energetic, book-length poem pounds the pavement of the New Jersey Turnpike, driving through America—past landfills and wetlands and weapons labs—under the towering shadows of engines, oil, and war. With a disarmingly unique voice that evokes the tradition of Pound and Eliot, Whitman and Williams and Ginsberg, Andrews creates a pastiche of landscape, consciousness, history, and politics in this American age.
"a bus full of party delegates slouching in their friction-charged skins/
rolls past the jobbing line, rolls past the meat-packing plant/
toward the birth of a new convulsive nature, a countrywide husbandry,/
an emotional swing, the dream of the dream of the dream of a driver,/
seated and commandeering down the gaping streets of retractable housing/
where the aluminum siding licks its own wounds,/
and a four-year-old in the driveway/
repeats to herself, you're okay, you're okay"/
—excerpt from New Jersey
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"Serving the swerve from witness to outrage, the poem follows war's disastrous trajectory from domestic to international policy and singular to universal tragedy with unrelenting honesty. Andrews has a queer eye for empire, and this work is an incisive, exciting, and necessary intervention."
—Brian Teare, author of The Room Where I Was Born
"The heart of darkness is alive and beating in Betsy Andrews's New Jersey. This well-investigated sweep of a poem builds and passionately sustains itself through many luminous hallucinatory details. With its commitment to naming, to witnessing the machinations and degradations of our 'terror,' this is a brave poem, and a necessary one."
—Anne Waldman, The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics
Betsy Andrews is the author of She-Devil and In Trouble. Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared widely in publications ranging from PRACTICE to the Yemeni newspaper Culture. Betsy Andrews was awarded a 2007 New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship in Poetry.
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LC: 2006031436 PS
64 pp. 6 x 9
Paper $14.95 t
e-book $9.99 t
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Updated September 7, 2010© 2010, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System