The Book of Fools: An Essay in Memoir and Verse by Taylor, Sam

The Book of Fools: An Essay in Memoir and Verse

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At once poem, essay, memoir fragment, and art object, The Book of Fools is a sweeping elegy for our earth-and our plastic-choked ocean. Faced with the question of how to express the enormous ecological loss of our time, poet Sam Taylor marries this collective loss to a personal story of loss involving childhood, memory, and a mother's early death to cancer, a story which culminates in a scene the speaker is compelled to revisit, relive, and revise. Along the way, the poet's experiments in a poetics of "self-erasure" create a polyphonic reading experience, enrich the book's journey into the underworld, and deepen its investigation into nonfiction, myth, and aesthetics. Weaving together a diversity of themes, styles and lyric innovation, The Book of Fools challenges and refreshes our notions of what a poem can look like and what it can accomplish.


This is the illustrated edition (9780942544770) that features 9 color illustrations, including prints by Picasso, Matisse, and Van Gogh and stunning plankton photography by Christian and Noe Sardet.


Poet David Keplinger, author of The World to Come, says, "Sam Taylor's new book is a masterwork: a modern epic that drives toward our planetary grief with exhilarating invention... This is Taylor at the height of his game, and these poems are a brilliant display of his powers."


The poet Craig Santos Perez, author of Unincorporated Territory, adds, "The Book of Fools is a haunting journey into the (under)worlds of personal loss, global inequity, and ecological disaster. Just as the characters and mythic figures in this book cross borders, the poems traverse the aesthetic terrains of lyric and narrative, while also experimenting with typographical innovation (erasure, footnotes, strikethrough, greyscale, and more). Taylor brilliantly creates a "composite canvas" to capture what it means to make art in our precarious times and to continue 'dancing of our erasure."


And Donald Revell said: "With The Book of Fools, Sam Taylor has introduced a truly new and absolutely necessary disturbance into the field. All too often, memory and memoir serve as a baroque means of concealment; here, there is very purest disclosure...and by that I mean disclosure at the molecular level. In Taylor's ravishing text, the atoms of every image are seen to shiver and to shimmer. It is as though Taylor knows exactly what is at stake in the gamble of utterance. The Book of Fools is thrilling to witness and believe."



Author: Sam Taylor
Publisher: Negative Capability Press
Published: 10/14/2021
Pages: 164
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.89lbs
Size: 9.69h x 7.44w x 0.45d
ISBN13: 9780942544770
ISBN10: 0942544773
BISAC Categories:
- Poetry | American | General
- Poetry | Subjects & Themes | Nature
- Biography & Autobiography | Personal Memoirs