[09/17/24] Eigen, Jacob: Twenty-First Century

[09/17/24] Eigen, Jacob: Twenty-First Century

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The American Poetry Review, The, paperback

Publication Date: September 17, 2024

Publisher Marketing: The 2024 APR/Honickman First Book Prize winner, The Twenty-First Century circles the mystery of time with depth and invention.

Chosen by Roger Reeves as the winner of the 2024 APR/Honickman First Book Prize, The Twenty-First Century is a love song to time. Lovers whisper to each other at summer camp. The vizier of an ancient kingdom recalls the pleasures of his youth. A cockroach in the distant future evolves to write poetry of his own. In poems marked by depth, clarity, and invention, Jacob Eigen's debut collection guides us through a breadth of environments and worlds. Drawing from both fictional and autobiographical material, The Twenty-First Century treats a range of subjects: the joys and terrors of childhood ("Unity," "Zelda"), music and art ("The Boy in the Jungle," "The Captain's Parrot"), desire ("The End of the Long, Miserable Evening"), and love ("Epithalamium"). Through parable-like prose poems and lyric meditations, through simple and plainspoken language, this book circles the mystery of time--the fact that we are here and then gone. How can this be, these poems ask again and again, in a chorus of voices and an array of forms, until the question itself becomes a kind of song.