Presenter of the National Book Awards

2012 National Book Award Finalist,
Poetry

Susan Wheeler

Meme

University of Iowa Press

Meme, by Susan WheelerSusan Wheelercitation

Susan Wheeler’s Meme is a thrilling tour de force of speakers and speaking. From the idiomatic mesmerations of “The Maud Poems” to the discordant hurdy-gurdy songs of “The Split,” this three-part collection, Wheeler’s sixth, is a formally restless work exploring the emotional inadequacies of elegy and lament, our poetic “memes” for grief and loss.

About the Book

A meme is a unit of thought replicated by imitation. Occupy Wall Street is a meme, as are internet ideas and images that go viral. But what could be more potent memes than those passed down by parents to their children? Susan Wheeler reconstructs her mother’s voice—down to its cynicism and its mid-twentieth-century Midwestern vernacular—in “The Maud Poems,” a voice that takes a more aggressive, vituperative turn in “The Devil—or —The Introjects.” In the book’s third long sequence, a generational inheritance feeds cultural transmission in “The Split.” One read, and the meme “Should I stay or should I go?” will be altered in your head forever.

About the Author

Susan Wheeler is the author of the poetry collections Bag ‘o’ Diamonds, which received the Norma Farber First Book Award of the Poetry Society of America and was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Award; Smokes, which won the Four Way Books Award in 1998; and Source Codes; Ledger, winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize; and Assorted Poems. Her novel, Record Palace, was published in 2005. On the creative writing faculties at Princeton University and The New School's graduate program, she lives in Rocky Hill, New Jersey.

Links

> www.susanwheeler.org

> Twitter: @Idoneous

Susan Wheeler Interviewed by Robert Polito
BOMB 92/Summer 2005, LITERATURE
http://bombsite.com/issues/92/articles/2750

 

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Photo credit: Frank Wojciechowski