An essential edition of a major avant-garde poet: “Waldrop compels us to seek out new superlatives” (Ben Lerner, Jacket)
Rosmarie Waldrop says Gap Gardening “spans forty years of exploring the language I breathe and move in and that continues to condition me even while I try to contribute to it. It tracks my turn from verse to prose poems, to focusing on the sentence and its boundaries, my increasing reliance on collage and source texts as a way of engaging with other voices, of being in dialogue.”
Gap Gardening also traces Waldrop’s growing sense of writing as an exploration of what happens in between. Between words, sentences, people, cultures. Between fragment and flow, thinking and feeling, mind and body. For the first time, we have a complete and clear view of the work of a great and inquiring, brave and indispensable poet.
Rosmarie Waldrop, born in Germany in 1935, is the author of several books of poetry, fiction, and essays, and a noted translator of French and German poetry. Her most recent books are The Nick of Time, Gap Gardening: Selected Poems (winner of the Los Angeles Book Prize), and Driven to Abstraction. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts of Letters, and is a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. For fifty-six years, she and her husband Keith Waldrop ran one of the country’s most vibrant experimental poetry presses, Burning Deck, in Providence, Rhode Island.
Her work [is] a powerful mixture of directness and disjunction: she conveys information at one moment only to shatter the method of conveyance at the next.
— Ben Lerner - Harper's
this collection, it is evident that Waldrop's universe begins where
Einstein's ends. Nearly fifty years of lyric riffs, meditations, and
collages, using as source material the works of physicists, philosophers,
explorers, historians, and critics, from Columbus to Wittgenstein, seek to
simultaneously define, deconstruct, and, finally, re-construct a mind in
— Music & Literature
A wonderful mix of philosophical conversation, erotic questions and astrophysical speculation—defiantly brilliant speculations.
— Publishers Weekly
A page of Waldrop will focus the reader on the intricate (or simple) ways words connect or fail to connect, depend on or defy punctuation, suggest or deny meaning.
— The American Book Review
This influential avant-garde doyenne … handily manages the paradox of the lucid enigma.… She maintains a distinctly American voice—quick-witted, conversational, and visually concrete: a poetry that pleases no less than it puzzles.
— Voice Literary Supplement
One of the leading voices in contemporary American poetry. Waldrop’s nimble poetics of ‘gap gardening’ provides the emotional and ethical center.
— Boston Review