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The Gold Shop of Ba-’Ali
Folly
Balefire
Evolution of the Genus Iris
Songs for a Summons
Detroit as Barn
Caliban  
|
  John Whalen

ISBN 978-0-9668612-6-6    $14.95  /  $16.95 (Canada)    5.5 x 8.5   80 pp   Spring 2002    Poetry





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John Whalen’s poems stalk the persona of the monster trapped in ourselves, and in our everyday world, and free the spirit to be lover, singer. These are poems of adroit surprise, of vivid phrase and dramatic voice, celebrating the paradox of the timeless and contemporary.

—Robert Morgan

 

Caliban is a brand new voice, charged with rage, wit, and a wild, wry sweetness. John Whalen brings us an open ear, a strict eye, and a generous heart.

—Max Phillips

 

In John Whalen’s quintessentially tempestuous Caliban, the main character is an outcast and a slave to his passions. If Shakespeare had Miranda, Whalen’s Caliban has Melanie in his dream world, the working-class and suburban settings that enthrall him. The wonder of this debut book of poems is that its fractured narratives and cris de coeur reconstruct a “brilliant television orchard” of images. Although Whalen revels in disjunction, his vision is starkly focused. Caliban bristles with “pissed bees,” station wagons—no it glitters, multifaceted, diamond clear! Pick it up, feel its glacial heat; meet John Whalen!

—James Reiss

 

John Whalen’s Caliban is tempest-, whiskey-, and romance-tossed. It is also mordantly funny, peculiarly moving, and always gorgeous. These poems are as deeply pleasurable to read one at a time as in one great gulp, which is all we should ask of any book.

—Elizabeth McCracken


About the Author

John Whalen

John Whalen

John Whalen lives in eastern Washington with his two daughters. His poems have appeared in such journals as the Virginia Quarterly Review, Yellow Silk, The Hollins Critic, Willow Springs, and CutBank.