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A Country of Strangers by D. Nurkse
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A Country of Strangers

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A Country of Strangers by D. Nurkse
Hardcover $35.00
Apr 19, 2022 | ISBN 9780593321409

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    Apr 19, 2022 | ISBN 9780593321409

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  • Apr 19, 2022 | ISBN 9780593551837

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One of Library Journal‘s Best Poetry Books of the Year

“This substantial volume gathers work from Nurske’s 35-year career to make the case that he is, quietly, one of our most engaged civic poets, even as he honors interior lives and emotional complexity.” The New York Times

“[A] generous retrospective of Nurkse’s work . . . plus twenty-nine new poems—documents the passage of a quiet American life moved to speech by generation-defining events . . . providing a blueprint for the labyrinth of human affairs through which the poet finds—or may fail to find—a singular, personal connection with his times.” The Manhattan Review

“Memorable. . . . Nurkse’s poems are as fresh and bizarre as ever, lingering at checkpoints, border crossings, transit areas, and ‘that uncertain moment/ between false dawn and dawn.’ Nurkse’s portraits . . . are skillful sketches.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“To read D. Nurkse’s A Country of Strangers is to walk the roads of never-ending war, the words illuminated by the light of whistling rockets or blown up by bombs. This collection tells the truth of war in lyrical language—how it both follows and leaps ahead even as we think we will escape it, how it lives inside us even during peace time. These poems are shrouded in darkness; they reflect both the poet’s alienation from and his love for his fellow citizens. He makes it clear that although we will never completely know each other’s truest thoughts, we may somehow find hope in these bombed-out forests of words. America is lucky that Nurkse tells such truths, bears such witness with such grace.” —Big City Lit

“Nurkse enshrines intimate and political vignettes into poetic myths and inscribes culture and language in the palimpsest of history.” World Literature Today

“Nurkse muses knowingly on life and loss, offering intimate, intelligent work with a strong sense of place. The new poems reflect strikingly on loosening bonds and life’s diminishing returns in melancholy-mellow verse but remain alert to the world.” Library Journal

“D. Nurkse is a strange, daring poet. . . Nurkse’s compelling, unusual voice . . . resists acceptance, an easy embrace, insists on its otherness, even remoteness, while pursuing its parallel realms, so persuasive and engaging, so workably close. Orienting and disorienting, offering a bare, glinting beauty. He deserves to be read and discussed as an important American voice.” —Richard Silberg, Poetry Flash

“What a joy to have this overview of D. Nurske’s marvelous poems – he is a master of lyric mode, one in whose hands the lines come immediately come alive, magic breathes, nuance shimmers and becomes the world all its own, see the doors open into the unknown and we see that it is strangely familiar because strangeness is, in fact, our first language, one we mouthed before words. Welcome to A Country of Strangers, reader–don’t be surprised if by the time you finish this terrific book you might feel changed, and at home.” —Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa

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