Today's poem is "Semicolons"
from Radioland

Barrow Street Press

Lesley Wheeler's previous collections include Heterotopia, winner of the 2009 Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize; The Receptionist and Other Tales, a James Tiptree, Jr. Award Honor Book; and Heathen. Her most recent critical study is Voicing American Poetry: Sound and Performance from the 1920s to the Present. Winner of an Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia, and of fellowships from Fulbright and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Wheeler teaches at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.

Other poems by Lesley Wheeler in Verse Daily:
September 3, 2009:   "Past Bedtime" "Sometimes I feel like a stream, she said...."
August 16, 2009:   "Selfish" "When you are always right, it is hard to diet..."
June 30, 2009:   "Inland Song" "In some kind houses the doors..."
November 14, 2007:   "Lazy Eye" " The stranger unplugs her bogus teeth..."

Books by Lesley Wheeler:

Other poems on the web by Lesley Wheeler:
"Dressing Down, 1962"
Three poems
Three poems
Two poems
"Zombie Thanksgiving"

Lesley Wheeler's Blog.

About Radioland:

"Lesley Wheeler’s Radioland is a spellbinding examination of communication breakdown in all its guises. With seismic heft, Wheeler mines the metaphoric capabilities of tectonic shifts and fault lines, slurred pop lyrics, and the lexicon of new technologies. Throughout, a father’s inscrutability translates into the nonsensical garble and static of old radios. Wheeler’s keen focus on linguistic obfuscations plays in the key of Williams, specifically: It is hard to get the news from poetry. With a flair for received forms and an exacting ear, Wheeler has her finger on the pulse of all that stands in the way of straightforward transmissions, not only of the other but of the self. Wheeler’s facility for naming what doesn’t get said is nothing less than stunning."
—Martha Silano

"Lesley Wheeler’s new volume of poems, Radioland, spellbinds with the gorgeous sounds of its poetry: “Drag belly over gravel on a cave-lip / into the TV and sleep in it,” one poem opens. Note the insouciant forging of ancient and quotidian scenes, the modulation of vowels punctuated by v’s: I’m hooked! Wheeler is, among other glories, a consummate formalist, but she is also profound in her exploration of the governing trope of this collection: the deeply human struggles in which families engage to be receptors and transmitters of love (the crisis brought to a head by the unforgiven father’s death). In Radioland’s disturbed emissions and reception, we cannot always tell what’s “[s]ignal and noise,” but at the borderland to the absolute, Wheeler is surefooted in her exploration of love’s echoing “parley” in the world."
—Cynthia Hogue

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