The University of Wisconsin Press
Fragments in Us
Recent and Earlier Poems
The Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry
Ronald Wallace, General Editor
Winner of the 1996 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry Selected by Philip Levine
In this collection of poems spanning thirty years of work, Dennis Trudell writes about the dense humanity of cities, about Chicago, basketball, an inner-city fire; about Vietnam and Central America; about sons and parents. Above all, he writes about the humility and humanity we gain from recognizing our ties to all our fellow sojourners on this earth, noticing that strangers and neighbors are often brave and resilient and lovely beyond reason. Inspired by such writers as Nelson Algren and Pablo Neruda, Trudell sees reason for hope and humor in a radical stance toward grim realities of the world.
Excerpt from The Art of Poetry
You can say anything.
That a young marine charging up a sand incline at Saipan
suddenly thought of mittens on a string.
That after hours in the museum
all is quiet: the Rubens in Trafalger Square,
for example, stay well within their frames.
That the lake of the mind no longer at civil war
must be lovely and quiet, with delightful small fish
nibbling near the surface.
That Rasputin's toenails
must have been clipped by someone:
where are such traces now?
That the impossible sea
is heaving tonight at the flanks
of a ship with lights and music...
of many ships, carrying an unguessable number
of indiscretions, and not a few smokers
considering the jump.
Dennis Trudell grew up in Buffalo, New York, and has lived for many years in Madison, Wisconsin. An assistant professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Trudell received his B.A. from Denison University and his M.A. and M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. His poems have been published in seven chapbooks and more than a dozen anthologies, as well as in the Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, New England Review, and North American Review. He also writes fiction and has a story in a recent O. Henry Prize volume.
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LC: 96-008243 PS
72 pp. 6 x 9
Paper $14.95 t
Cloth $26.95 s
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