About the Book

When

When

Poems
September 1997
Trade Paperback · 96 Pages
$12.95 U.S. · $15.50 CAN
ISBN 9781889330044
Sarabande Books

 

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Description

Baron Wormser is the author of three previous collections of poetry: The White Words (Houghton Mifflin, 1983), Good Trembling (Houghton Mifflin, 1985), and Atoms, Soul Music, and Other Poems (Paris Review Editions, 1989). Born and raised in Baltimore, he earned his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, his M.A. in English from the University of California, and his M.A. in Library Service from the University of Maine. His poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, Harper's, The New Republic, and The Georgia Review. Currently, Wormser lives with his wife in Mercer, Maine, in their house which is powered by a two-panel solar unit and is located on forty-five acres of Maine woods. He is a Buddhist affiliated with the Kwan Um Zen school and works as a librarian for a rural school district.

"When is a mix of autobiography and good old storytelling that never forgets a basic writerly tenet: locality is the only universality. Whether the subject is Beethoven's maid hearing strange sounds, a deli waiter bemoaning his work or Wormser as a boy walking through Pikesville, Md., and imagining it's Baudelaire's Paris, the action in each poem is unique in its specific details. The insights the characters achieve, however, and the emotions they feel are universal… . Graced with humor, lust, and bracing
narrative momentum, Wormser's poetry presents a menagerie of wonderfully familiar strangers."-Publishers Weekly

"A steadfast characteristic of Baron Wormser's poetry is his absolute honesty. In When, … he puts aside any expectations of poetic prettiness to take a clear, linguistically fresh look at issues such as AIDS, Vietnam, the ethics of fast-food consumption, and the seduction of Vegas… . Wormser's love of the world is evident, despite the searing light that he shines upon it."-Small Press Editor's Recommended Book, Amazon.com

"The title When derives from Wormser's obsession with history… . This historical sense permeates his poems; it is critical to his approach to poetry. He is, in a manner of speaking, a time traveler… . Wormser makes references to people, objects, and events that define the time:

About the Authors

Wormser is the author of seven books of poetry, a collection of short stories, and a memoir, among others. He directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching and teaches in the Stonecoast MFA Program. The recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Wormser served as Poet Laureate of Maine from 2000 to 2005.