Best Poetry Volume

Epistles, Mark Jarman

Over the course of the last 100 years, a century of increasing agnosticism, most serious American poets stopped mediating their search for meaning through religion. Not so for Mark Jarman, whose ninth collection, Epistles, contains 30 prose poems based loosely on the epistles of St. Paul. Since his extraordinary collection Questions for Ecclesiastes, published in 1997, Jarman's become almost a singular figure in the world of high poetry: a major poet writing poems directly to and/or about God. Jarman's poems are grounded more in the paradoxes of faith than in simple affirmations of it. They question, cajole and, when necessary, shout. —PABLO TANGUAY

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