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Book Cover for: Liontaming in America, Elizabeth Willis

Liontaming in America

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 her visionary work that delves deep into the ancient enchantments and disciplinary displays of the circus. Liontaming in America investigates the utopian aspirations fleetingly enacted in the polyamorous life of a nineteenth-century Mormon community, interweaving archival and personal threads with 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."

Book Details

  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publish Date: Sep 3rd, 2024
  • Pages: 272
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9780811238632
  • Categories: Subjects & Themes - FamilySubjects & Themes - ReligiousAmerican - General

About the Author

Willis, Elizabeth: - Elizabeth Willis is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Alive: New and Selected Poems, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She also writes about poetry, labor, and art. Willis is the editor of the essay collection Radical Vernacular: Lorine Niedecker and the Poetics of Place and she teaches at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Praise for this book

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"