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Cover for Other Psalms (Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry #22)

Other Psalms (Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry #22)

Jordan Windholz


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Winner of the Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry, 2014.

In his debut collection, Jordan Windholz recasts devotional poetics and traces the line between faith and its loss. Other Psalms gives voice to the skeptic who yet sings to the silence that “swells with the noise of listening.” If faith is necessary, this collection suggests, it is necessary as material for its own unmaking.

From “(psalm)”:
part self, part song
the psalm drags sense from absence
the eclogue anticipates response
verdant and vined, its verges
overtake the tongue. . .

Praise For Other Psalms (Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry #22)

“As though finding in Simone Weil’s theology of divine absence a reason to sing, in the opening poem, ‘Invocation,’ the singer of Other Psalms discovers a vocation: to sing, perversely, eloquently, of and to silence. Ambitious and exigent, these poems are refreshingly alert to all of the formal necessities of contemporary poetry, recognizing the inadequacy of any single measure to encompass the human longing for presence."— Averill Curdy, author of Song and Error and judge
“Jordan Windholz’s Other Psalms harmonizes reverie and reverence. This poet recognizes ‘journey and wanderings//as stemming from the same seed.’ Thus the musically dense disciplines of his poems balance an irony and occasional irreverence that make Other Psalms vivid and not simply beautiful. In other words, this book harmonizes human and holy.”—Elizabeth Robinson, author of On Ghosts and Blue Heron
“There is a lushness and sonic abandon in many of these poems that reflects their devotional aspirations, ‘to cradle divinity by flutter or buzz.’ There is also a wryness, even causticity, completely in keeping with the apophatic side of the tradition. The paradox of religious writing, or any writing for that matter, carried out across a life’s changes in circumstances and temperament, requires both extremes in order to stay vivid. A difficult balance to keep, a dangerous tightrope to walk—Other Psalms does it thrillingly.”—Nate Klug, author of Rude Woods and Anyone

"Jordan Windholz tells both the story of how humans are created, as well as the story of how humans create, illuminating the relationships between the self, language, and religion."--Adroit Journal

University of North Texas Press, 9781574416008, 84pp.

Publication Date: March 2, 2015

About the Author

JORDAN WINDHOLZ was born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and now lives in Bridgeport, Connecticut, with his family. Having received an MFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder, he is currently a PhD candidate in English literature at Fordham University. His work was published in Best New Poets of 2007, Boston Review, and other journals.