In a Landscape of Having to Repeat
Author: Martha Ronk | ISBN: 189065017X : 9781890650179 | Format: Paperback | Size: 140x215mm | Pages: 96 | Weight: .172 Kg. | Published: IPG (Omnidawn Publishing) – June 2004 | Availability: In Print | Subjects: Poetry texts & anthologies
This book is the Winner of the 15th Annual PEN USA Award in Poetry (2005)
With each poetry collection, Martha Ronk has further refined her unique use of the sentence, its textures and tangents, to extend the ways that a meditative lyric might address the most intimate and subtle experiences of living. Yet Ronk’s diction remains as direct and urbane as it is mulitvalenced in its range from serious to wry to confidential to questioning. In these poems, we find Ronk’s most stealthy syntactic turns, returns, and juxtapositions, which expose to us the rhetorics we unconsciously use to frame our perceptions of the daily. In a landscape of having to repeat, Ronk offers a language of attention that is composite, disruptive, and vibrantly immediate.
is Irma and Jay Price Professor of English at Occidental College. Among her poetry books are Why/Why Not (University of California Press 2003), Eyetrouble (University of Georgia Press, 1998), State of Mind (Sun & Moon, 1995), and a memoir Displeasures of the Table (Sun & Moon, 2001).
“Martha Ronk’s In a landscape of having to repeat is a collection of poetic meditations on repetition. In these lean verse and prose poems, Ronk plays with how creatures of habit (dutiful as we are to necessary repetition [say, bodily functions, memory] and selective repetition [say, watching TV]) attempt to repeat once-and-only-once experiences that cannot without difficulty be repeated. The poems are narrative and semi-narrative views of landscapes, moving toward, away from, and through Ronk’s linguistic flora, Freud’s dream theories, Eva Hesse’s intentionally deteriorating props and sculptures; delightful. “In a landscape of having to repeat is an addictively liberating, poetic exploration of repetition in familiar and new language. We are honored to select Martha Ronk. Word for word, right down to the title askew and the two poems of the same title, Martha Ronk’s In a landscape of having to repeat is a delightful addition to our literary canon.”– Merilene Murphy, Timothy Liu, Susan McCabe, The Written World, (Program for the Pen USA 15th Annual Awards Festival)
“Despite the poems’ unconditional indeterminacy and economy of expression, Ronk’s sincere desire to comprehend a reality that refuses to hold still for analysis generates an unexpected and uniquely human warmth.”– Fred Muratori, Boston Review
“her new book, In a Landscape of Having to Repeat , is about landscapes: of the mind, the body, the past, the present, the possible, the impossible, the knowable, the unknowable, the sublime, and the necessary.” — Mark Tursi, American Book Review, Jan/Feb 2005
“As she states, ‘Objects have no thoughts about anything else.’ Yet humans do, and Ronk manufactures her unique memory from that slippery stash of the ordinary.”– Valerie Valentine, Rain Taxi , vol. 9, No. 4, Winter 2004/2005
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