In the Mode of Disappearance

Winner of the 2006 Nightboat Poetry Prize
Finalist for the 2009 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America

INVENTIVE AS HELL, within its own formal limitations and liberations, In the Mode of Disappearance is as thinking as it is feeling, and never solely linear. It charts the progression of the soul, fleeing and in constant flight, while confronting the known possibilities of new earth and after-earth. A contemporary, non cultish, spirituality fuels Weinert’s prosody, neo sermonish. And yes, the pages, hot with what Aimé Césaire calls Poetic Knowledge, almost glow. This is an amazing debut. The beginning of what happens after “the leaving”, not just “the healing,” has begun.

—Thomas Sayers Ellis, author of The Maverick Room

JONATHAN WEINERT HAS MORE EMOTIONAL AND TECHNICAL RANGE than almost any contemporary poet I know of. These poems move easily between high formalism and experimentalism, always with wit, sonic inventivness and erudition. Finally, though, it is his human insight and lyrical subtlety that will make In the Mode of Disappearance one of the best poetry books to be published this year. Jonathan Weinert is a marvelous writer.

     —Kevin Prufer, author of National Anthem

THE FORMAL INTELLIGENCE of the collection is inspiringly complex, as is the moral and psychological engagement with the situations at hand. This moral complexity is expressed in personal and political dilemmas—both in fragmen tary forms and in sweeping lyricism. The poet is careful with the heft of each word. “It’s only the small / mortal sentence / that survives us, spoken by / my lips directly / in your oceanic ear,” he writes in “EMail in the Manner of Frank O’Hara” . . . Weinert’s poems continually toggle between categories: there are echoes of Crane, Williams, Stevens, Stein as well as of contemporary heirs of those poets. The long title poem recasts iambic lines with meditative restraint. Weinert’s subject matter is inclusive, and the best poems address the project of making consciousness in poetry, the title poem being Weinert’s own “Notes
Toward a Supreme Fiction” with a surrealist cast.

     —from the foreword, by contest judge Brenda Hillman