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e invite you to come hear Jeff Dolven read from his new book of poems at the store. “In Speculative Music, Jeff Dolven takes up the great and rare project of "inventio": these poems are imaginative discoveries, beautiful contraptions, engines of delight and pathos. A music-hall sprightliness barely…
e invite you to come hear Jeff Dolven read from his new book of poems at the store.
“In Speculative Music, Jeff Dolven takes up the great and rare project of "inventio": these poems are imaginative discoveries, beautiful contraptions, engines of delight and pathos. A music-hall sprightliness barely cloaks "the querying steel" flashing throughout. The command and dash here at times might remind you of Auden, but Dolven is his own (split) man. This is work at times "shyly rehearsing a subtler number," other times clicking its zany heels. Here is the world, askew. Here is a poet who can indeed “string a string . . . through everything.’” —Maureen McLane
Jeff Dolven’s poems take the guise of fables, parables, allegories, jokes, riddles, and other familiar forms. So, there is an initial comfort: I remember this, the reader thinks, from the stories of childhood . . . . But wait, something is off. In each poem, an uncanny conceit surprises the form, a highway paved with highwaymen, a school for shame, a family of chairs. Dolven makes these strange wagers with the grace and edgy precision of a metaphysical poet, and there are moments when we might imagine ourselves to be somewhere in the company of Donne or Spenser. Then we encounter “The Invention: A Libretto for Speculative Music,” which is, well—surreal, and features a decisively modern, entirely notional score, sung by an inventor and his invention, which (who?) turns out to be a 40s-type piano-perched chanteuse who (which?) somehow knows all the words to the song you never knew you had in you. The daring of this collection is not in replaying the fractured polyphony of our moment. Speculative Music gives us accessible lyrics that still manage to listen in on our echoing interiors. These are poems that promise Frost’s “momentary stay against confusion” and, at the same time, provoke a deep, head-shaking wonder.
Jeff Dolven's poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Times Literary Supplement, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. Speculative Music is his first collection. He teaches poetry and poetics, especially of the English Renaissance, at Princeton University, and is an editor at large at Cabinet magazine.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder – wisdom is in the mind. Partaking of either requires a good vantage point. These hilly vignettes were written to help you enjoy the climb. This book takes you places you can only discover by cycling up hills. Some hills are in the pretty part of New Jersey, …
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder – wisdom is in the mind. Partaking of either requires a good vantage point. These hilly vignettes were written to help you enjoy the climb. This book takes you places you can only discover by cycling up hills. Some hills are in the pretty part of New Jersey, a place few people imagine. Some are in France, Italy, Oregon and California. All these vignettes capture the enthusiasm of discovery, enjoying life, and cycling. Over the past six years, these vignettes were written to share some of the thoughts, tranquility and delight of cycling in beautiful places. Cycling up hills requires the right perspective and good conditioning. These hilly vignettes provide perspective. As a bonus, there are cycling routes that can take you on some of the prettiest roads you’re likely to find.
Michael's first book, "Climbing Through Life - a Collection of Hilly Vignettes" captures what Albert Einstein expressed: "Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving." Or as cyclists on his rides say: "You only get to the prettiest places by climbing hills."
Michael captures the idea of living where you live, invoking an appreciation for beauty and a sense of place - to keep the pretty part of NJ a place that provides great cycling, living and creative outlets. His writing explores ways to grow by experiencing and better understanding the substance of relationships with others and the environment.
Michael Heffler is a cyclist, a husband, a father, an author and a ride leader. He is currently working on a program to align local cycling clubs with local open space organizations. He worked in technology for over 30 years, is published and holds a patent. A graduate of Rutgers University and University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he lives with his wife, Carol, in Lambertville, NJ.