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Book Title

An Aquarium

Author 1
Jeffrey Yang
Slantwise the crab advances. Poets,

philosophers, the body

politic share different aspects

of this problem.

From "Abalone" to "Zooxanthellae," Jeffrey Yang's debut poetry collection is full of the exhilarating colors and ominous forms of aquatic life. But deeper under the surface are his observations on war, environmental degradation, language, and history, as a father—troubled by violence and human mismanagement of the world—offers advice to a newborn son. Here is a wonderful new voice in poetry, one that takes in the vastness and interconnectedness of life—as Yang writes in one poem, "Each / being being /being's link."


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A vivid trip through the various theaters of an aquarium eerie, translucent, and reflective


About the Author

Jeffrey  Yang
Credit: Meredith Heuer
Jeffrey Yang is the author of Hey, Marfa; Vanishing-Line; and An Aquarium, winner of the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award. He is the translator of Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo’s June Fourth Elegies. Yang lives in Beacon, New York.

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  • “Here is a first book written from a very high floor of the Tower of Babel, and the view is exhilarating. . . Jeffrey Yang speaks in tongues as if touched with a Pentecostal flame.”—The New York Times Book Review
  • “Yang’s debut is as full of surprises as it is full of fish....Those who read the collection quickly may find it witty but gimmicky; those who bring more attention will take more away from this rare first book that combines a simple theme (poems as sea life, the book as their tank) with clear, sharp thought at the level of sentence and line.”—Publishers Weekly
  • An Aquarium is polished, intelligent, and, for all its erudition, readable.”—Chronogram
  • "Yang's poems undulate in alternating waves of wisdom, humor, prophecy, and what is left behind is the powerful wash of a uniquely gifted artist."—The Midwest Book Review


This book is made possible, in part, through the Jerome Foundation, which supports new works by emerging artists in New York City and Minnesota, and by the generosity of Graywolf Press donors like you.
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