Certain Magical Acts

Certain Magical Acts

4.21 (90 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


An important new work of poetry from Alice Notley, winner of the 2015 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize
Alice Notley has become one of the most highly regarded figures in American poetry, a master of the visionary mode acclaimed for genre-bending book-length poems of great ambition and adventurousness. Her newest work sets out to explore the world and its difficulties, from the recent economic crisis and climate change to the sorrow of violence and the disappointment of democracy or any other political system. Notley channels these themes in a mix of several longer poems - one is a kind of spy novella in which the author is discovered to be a secret agent of the dead, another an extended message found in a manuscript in a future defunct world - with some unique shorter pieces. Varying formally between long expansive lines, a mysteriously cohering sequence in meters reminiscent of ancient Latin, a narration with a postmodern broken surface, and the occasional sonnet, these are grand poems, inviting the reader to be grand enough to survive, spiritually, a planet's ruin."
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 155 x 226 x 10mm | 181g
  • Penguin Books
  • United States
  • English
  • 0143108166
  • 9780143108160
  • 394,715

About Alice Notley

Alice Notley was born in Bisbee, Arizona in 1945 and grew up in Needles, California. She is the author of over 35 books of poetry, including "Mysteries of Small Houses" (Penguin, 1998, winner of the "Los Angeles Times" Book Prize and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize); "Disobedience "(Penguin, 2001, winner of the Griffin Prize); and "Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems 1970 " "2005," which received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Her honors also include an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and The Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. She lives and works in Paris."
show more

Review quote

Praise for Alice Notley
"Alice Notley has freed herself from any single notion of what poetry should be so that she can go ahead and write what poetry can be. That she has done so in each of over twenty books published since 1975 attests to the potency of both her poetic gifts and her ambitions for poetry itself."
--Brian Teare, "Boston Review"
"The range, comprehensiveness, and empathetic imagination of Alice Notley's poems are among the major astonishments of contemporary poetry. Book by surprising book, she reinvents not only herself as a poet, but also what it means for anyone to write a poem at this volatile moment in our history."
--Robert Polito, The Poetry Foundation"
show more

Rating details

90 ratings
4.21 out of 5 stars
5 43% (39)
4 41% (37)
3 10% (9)
2 4% (4)
1 1% (1)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X