More people should be reading Elizabeth Willis, one of our most gifted and historically attuned poets.

Jennifer Chang, Los Angeles Review of Books

A spiraling, staggering new collection of historical and mythic reinvention—the famed Elizabeth Willis’s first book with New Directions

Available Sep, 03 2024

Liontaming in America

Poetry by Elizabeth Willis

“To disrupt the relationship of predator and prey, to reshape one’s relation to power, is to renovate the lived and living world,” Elizabeth Willis writes in this visionary work that delves deep into the ancient enchantments of the circus and its timeless disciplinary displays. Liontaming in America investigates the utopian aspirations fleetingly enacted in the polyamorous life of a nineteenth-century religious community, interweaving archival and personal threads wit the histories of domestic labor, extraction economies, and the performance of family in theater, film, and everyday life. Lines reverberate between worldliness and devotion, between Peter Pan and Close Encounters, between Paul Robeson and Maude Adams, between leaps of faith and passionate alliances, between everyday tragedy and imaginative social possibility. As Willis writes in her afterword to the book, “The repeated unmaking and remaking of America, as a concept and as an ongoing textual project, is not impossible. It is happening all the time.”

Paperback(published Sep, 03 2024)

ISBN
9780811238632
Price US
24.95
Trim Size
5.5x8.5
Page Count
272

Ebook(published Sep, 03 2024)

ISBN
9780811238786

More people should be reading Elizabeth Willis, one of our most gifted and historically attuned poets.

Jennifer Chang, Los Angeles Review of Books

Willis offers the penetrating musings and sometimes fragmented syntax of a contemporary Emily Dickinson but can feel like a spirited surrealist.

Library Journal (Starred review for Alive)

Willis has the finest ear for the lyric amongst her generation. The intense beauty of the work is an unblinking testament to the poet’s sense that the stakes for language are becoming impossibly high.

Richard Deming, Boston Review