Being Reflected Upon (Penguin Poets) (Paperback)

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A memoir in verse from one of America's legendary poets

In a New York Times review of Alice Notley’s 2007 collection In the Pines, Joel Brouwer wrote that “the radical freshness of Notley’s poems stems not from what they talk about, but how they talk, in a stream-of-consciousness style that both describes and dramatizes the movement of the poet’s restless mind, leaping associatively from one idea or sound to the next.” Notley’s new collection is at once a window into the sources of her telepathic and visionary poetics, and a memoir through poems of her Paris-based life between 2000 and 2017, when she finished treatment for her first breast cancer. As Notley wrote these poems she realized that events during this period were connected to events in previous decades; the work moves from reminiscences of her mother and of growing up in California to meditations on illness and recovery to various poetic adventures in Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, and Edinburgh. It is also concerned with the mysteries of consciousness and the connection between the living and dead, “stream-of-consciousness” teasing out a lived physics or philosophy.

About the Author

Alice Notley was born in Bisbee, Arizona, in 1945 and grew up in Needles, California. She is the author of more than thirty-five books of poetry, including Mysteries of Small Houses (Penguin, 1998), winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Disobedience (Penguin, 2001), winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize; Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems 1970–2005, which received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; and most recently The Speak Angel Series. Her honors also include an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. She lives and works in Paris.

Praise For…

Praise for Being Reflected Upon:

“Experimentation is the hallmark of Notley’s poetry; in nearly every book, a new method or idea arrives by which to channel her voice.” —Hannah Zeavin, The Paris Review

“[Notley]’s become a kind of goddess, dreaming the world into being.” —Sara Nicholson, The Paris Review

“[Readers] are in for a wild, kaleidoscopic ride . . . If her collection has a through line, it is Notley’s loves, incidental and formative, from long-term partners to someone met once on a ‘shuttle in Dallas.’” —The Los Angeles Review of Books

“It is indeed fitting that one of America’s great poets, Alice Notley, should write a memoir in verse . . .  a metaphysical portrait in glances, of a restless poetic consciousness concerned with life, death, and everything in between.” Lit Hub, “Lit Hub’s Most Anticipated Books of 2024”

“A poetic journey . . .  Fans of Notley will appreciate her new-age approach to her works; new fans will enjoy digging into her thoughts and visions through poems.” —The Philadelphia Tribune

“The collection is rife with references to atoms and particles; as if inspired by quantum physics, Notley’s poetry takes shape through the energetic forces of perception and remem­brance, fixed by the present vantage of the poet.” The Yale Review

“Throughout the expansive scope of her subjects, [Notley] maintains her singular, restless, and fresh poetic voice.”  Electric Literature

“A window into the sources of [Notley's] telepathic and visionary poetics.” —Write or Die

“Throughout, bits and particles fly, like the colored glass fragments of a kaleidoscope . . . A rich and bracing visit with one of our best poets.” Library Journal (Starred Review)

“Notley offers an intriguing and spirited reflection on a life in poetry.” Publishers Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9780143137979
ISBN-10: 0143137972
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2024
Pages: 144
Language: English
Series: Penguin Poets

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