Leaving the Atocha Station
Publication Date: September 2011
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Adam Gordon is a brilliant, if highly unreliable, young American poet on a prestigious fellowship in Madrid, struggling to establish his sense of self and his relationship to art. Instead of following the dictates of his fellowship, Adam's 'research' becomes a meditation on the possibility of the genuine in the arts and beyond: are his relationships with the people he meets in Spain as fraudulent as he fears his poems are? Is poetry an essential art form, or merely a screen for the reader's projections? A witness to the 2004 Madrid train bombings and their aftermath, does he participate in historic events or merely watch them pass him by?
Benjamin S. Lerner is an American poet. Born on February 4, 1979 and raised in Topeka, Kansas, he is a 1997 graduate of Topeka High School. At Brown University he earned a B.A. in Political Theory and a MFA in Poetry. In 2003 Copper Canyon Press awarded its Hayden Carruth prize to Lerner's cycle of fifty-two loose sonnets, The Lichtenberg Figures. In 2004, Library Journal named it one of the year's twelve best books of poetry. He traveled on a Fulbright Scholarship to Madrid, Spain in 2003 where he wrote his second book, Angle of Yaw. Together with Deb Klowden, Lerner presently edits No: A Journal of the Arts, a magazine of poetry, art, and criticism. In 2008 he began editing poetry for Critical Quarterly, a British academic publication. Lerner is on the faculty of the writing program of the University of Pittsburgh.