New Books from NER Writers: Centaur by Greg Wrenn

NER contributor Greg Wrenn’s poetry debut is Centaur. From the publisher: “Greg Wrenn’s collection opens with a long poem in which a man undergoes surgery to become a centaur. Other poems speak in voices as varied as those of Robert Mapplethorpe, Hercules, and a Wise Man at the birth of Jesus. Centaur skitters along the blurred lines between compulsivity and following one’s heart, stasis and self-realization, human and animal. Here, suffering and transcendence are restlessly conjoined.”

Katie Ford, author of Colosseum: “Centaur testifies to the grave fact that humans can harm each other until they want to trade in their bodies: ‘I want to feel alive,’ says the man seeking to become a centaur as the book begins. This is a masterful poetic debut marked by lyric brilliance and difficult, yet gleaming, wisdom.”

Centaur is the winner of the 2013 Brittingham Prize in poetry, selected by Terrance Hayes. It is available at Powell’s and other booksellers.

Wrenn’s poem “Northwest Passage” appeared in NER 32.2.