The University of Wisconsin Press
The Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Ronald Wallace, General Editor
Winner of the 2007 Brittingham Prize in Poetry, selected by Linda Gregerson
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
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The cloth edition, ISBN 978-0-299-22140-9, is out of print.
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Updated September 7, 2010© 2010, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System