These Are Strange Times, My Dear (Paperback)

Field Notes from the Republic

By Wendy Willis

Counterpoint LLC, 9781640091511, 320pp.

Publication Date: February 5, 2019

List Price: 16.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A poet, activist, and mother traces her path as we careen toward this perilous moment in American political and civic life.

The pointed and wide-ranging essays in Wendy Willis' These Are Strange Times, My Dear explore everything from personal resistance to the rise of political podcasts, civic loneliness to the exploitation of personal data, public outrage to the opioid crisis--all with a poet's gift for finding the sacred in the mundane, a hope in the dark. Even the essays hint at the lyrical complexities within: "A Million People on One String: Big Data and the Poetic Imagination," "Peeping in the Crack Under the Goddamn Door: One Citizen's Reflections on the Phenom that Is S-Town 94," "Reckoning with the Bros: Donald Trump, Robert Bly, and Swimming in the Sea of Grief."

For some, it feels as if Americans have never before been involved in a situation where every day brings a loud new threat to our public order and to our commonwealth. Our executive branch is demanding our scrutiny on a daily, even hourly, basis. Again and again, Willis returns to the demanding question posed by Czech writer, activist, and politician V clav Havel: What does it mean to live in truth? As a way to hear this question and to begin an answer, Willis circles around it, to realize her duties and reactions to truth and power as a woman, a mother, a lawyer, and a poet--as an American.