Voluntary Servitude (Paperback)


By Mark Wunderlich

Graywolf Press, 9781555974084, 64pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2004

List Price: 15.00*
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A chilling and masterful second poetry collection by Mark Wunderlich, the author of the award-winning The Anchorage

Sometimes the heart breaks. Sometimes
it is not held hostage. The red world
where cells prepare for the unexpected
splays open at the window's ledge.
Be not human you inhuman thing. -from "Amaryllis"

Voluntary Servitude asks of the beloved, "You say, Don't wreck me, and I say I won't, but how can I know that?" Here the poet is both servant and master to memory, sex, family, and the will of the lover, and the resulting poems describe the physical and psychological constraints and releases of relationships at the breaking point.

About the Author

Mark Wunderlich is the author of The Anchorage, which won the 1999 Lambda Literary Award. He teaches at Sarah Lawrence College in New York and lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Praise For Voluntary Servitude: Poems

“This haunting book proposes to consider ardor, love, and betrayal through the lens of a particular rhetoric: the vocabulary of submission and domination, the dynamic of power and desire yoking slave and master, beast and trainer, the harnessed and the wielder of the whip. Operating in a linguistic realm that floats somewhere above the territory of narrative without sacrificing either urgency or emotional intensity, Mark Wunderlich's new collection is a bold, memorable accomplishment.” —Mark Doty