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Book Title

The Earth Avails

Author 1
Mark Wunderlich
Poem Excerpt
You hang your lantern in the far window for me to see
until the cool blue of night burns and all the world is awake.

With your sorghum broom you sweetened my path, pulled
the woolen shawl around me while I slept.
That the lightning struck the willow
and did not fall—for this I am grateful.
—from “Heaven-Letter”
The Earth Avails evokes an all-but-lost history, when every setting, thought, and action was imbued with ritual: here’s the prayer said in a time of sickness; here’s the blessing spoken upon entering the house; here’s the letter from heaven that protects its holder from harm and misfortune. Rendered in part from folkloric and historical sources, Mark Wunderlich’s poems reinvent these traditions with lyrical and emotive force for a new century of readers.
“No matter the topic, Wunderlich almost infallibly strikes a tone of humane feeling and aesthetic refinement.”—Contemporary Poetry Review
“A poet in command of archetypal themes that are much more widely inclusive, archetypes that slither with sensual innuendo but that strike at the core of any dream-haunted reader.”—The Literary Review

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6.5 x 9
The anticipated new book by Mark Wunderlich, whose poetry “reminds us how fully the spirit can illuminate the depths” (The New Yorker)

About the Author

Mark  Wunderlich
Credit: Nicholas Kahn
Mark Wunderlich is the author of God of NothingnessThe Earth Avails, winner of the Rilke Prize; Voluntary Servitude; and The Anchorage, winner of the Lambda Literary Award. He teaches at Bennington College and lives in the Hudson Valley in New York.
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  • “Gorgeous and lyrical. . . . These poems are in love with language but stay controlled, precise and devastating.”—Bustle
  • “The man who inhabits The Earth Avails is solid at times, ghostly at times, erotic at others. Of the earth and not of the earth. . . . [It] feels like something nobody but this poet could have written.”Boston Review
  • “Intense and lyrical meditations on small-farm life. . . . A gorgeous collection.”The Rumpus
  • “[Wunderlich] switches his stylistic allegiance to plainspokenness . . . striking a hard-to-match tone of gentle humility, expanding his poetic powers.”Publisher's Weekly, starred review
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