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God of Nothingness

Mark Wunderlich

I am free from longing to be free; I do as I please,

my money is my own, all the mistakes I make are only my mistakes.

What is it to look at something you made and see the future?

What is it to have someone made by your body, but whose mind

remains just out of reach? I’ll never know. Come here, little rabbit.

Eat these greens. I will pet your cloudy fur with the mind’s hand.

—from “The Son I’ll Never Have”

God of Nothingness is a book for those who have seen death up close or even quietly wished for it. In these poems, honed to a devastating edge, Mark Wunderlich asks: How is it we go on as those around us die? And why go on at all? This collection is a brilliant testament to the human ability to make something tough-minded and resilient out of despair and the inevitability of death drawing near. Some poems are moving elegies addressed to mentors, friends, and family recently gone; some contend with the unasked-for responsibilities of inheritance and the family name; others call forth the understanding of being the end of a genetic line; still others remember a rural midwestern coming-of-age and, chillingly, an encounter with the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Present all the while are the prevailing comforts and wonders found in the natural world, work, and the longing for traditions that seem to be passing from our time. Exquisite in its craft and capaciousness, God of Nothingness is an unflinching journal of solitude and survival.

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A magnificent book of hope and resolve written out of profound losses, by award-winning poet Mark Wunderlich

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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Upcoming Events

VIRTUAL: Mark Wunderlich in conversation with Chantz Erolin and Jeff Shotts on GOD OF NOTHINGNESS, presented by Write On, Door County

Write On Door County in Fish Creek, WIview map
5 PM Pacific / 7 PM Central / 8 PM Eastern. This event will be broadcast live via Zoom. Click here for more information and to register

VIRTUAL: Mark Wunderlich (GOD OF NOTHINGNESS) in conversation with Tessa Kale, presented by Oblong Books

Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck, NYview map
4:00 PM Pacific / 6:00 PM Central / 7:00 PM Eastern. Free and open to the public, broadcast live via Crowdcast. Register here. Copies of God of Nothingness are available for purchase from Oblong Books.

VIRTUAL: Mark Wunderlich reading from GOD OF NOTHINGNESS, presented by Green Apple Books

Green Apple Bookstore in San Francisco, CAview map

6 PM Pacific / 8 PM Central / 9 PM Eastern. With Diane Seuss. Free and open to the public via Zoom. Learn more here. Copies of God of Nothingness and frank: sonnets can be purchased from Green Apple Books.

VIRTUAL: Mark Wunderlich reading from GOD OF NOTHINGNESS, presented by Hudson Valley Writers Center

Hudson Valley Writers' Center in Sleepy Hollow, NYview map
4 PM Pacific / 6 PM Central / 7 PM Eastern. With Kazim Ali and Jill Bialosky. Click here for more information and to register

VIRTUAL: Mark Wunderlich reading from GOD OF NOTHINGNESS, presented by University of Utah

University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UTview map
6 PM Mountain / 7 PM Central / 8 PM Eastern. Event will be broadcast via Zoom. Click here for more information and to register


  • God of Nothingness is a folkloric investigation into death and its resounding implications on our humanity and significance.”The Arkansas International
  • "Erotic, folkloric, elegiac, philosophic, aesthetic, lyric, queer and rural and utterly haunted (but without the usual messiness of haunting), Wunderlich transcends downward and takes us with him. . . . I am in love with The God of Nothingness, which is permeated, it turns out, with a majestic somethingness.”—Diane Seuss
  • “Mark Wunderlich’s poems are alarmingly wise, lyrically charged, and built out of an almost otherworldly clarity. . . . Wunderlich makes an argument not for beauty but for a clear-eyed resilience. God of Nothingness is a book that is as devastating as it is life-affirming, a weapon that both wounds and saves.”—Ada Limón
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