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The Next Country Paperback – November 1, 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The first half of this vivid debut reacts to the poets travels, mostly in Central and South America. One poem watches Ziggy Marley at the Estadio Nacional; another envisions a nation in which When asked about hunger,/ the children replied with hunger. Novey strikes a fine balance between hints and allusions to political history and generalized or allegorical locales, not proper nouns or place names but leaping wells to the underworld; she mixes prose poems with solidly crafted free verse, poems about particular sites with poems about travel itself, from the Home Depot in Lima/ or in search of the Dalai Lama. Novey (who is also a translator) fills the second half of her volume with equally well-made poems about American places, which follow the history of a family, perhaps her own. They met at Hardys in a highway town, one poem opens; another looks harder at the American isolation of the plains, where After the last house,/ the land extends like a hand before the mouth of a horse. Carolyn Forche selected Novey for a prestigious chapbook prize, and Noveys poems will certainly inspire comparisons to Forches. But the wide range of this book attest that Novey has many unique gifts of her own. (Nov.)
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Review

“Big-hearted, individualistic in scope and voice, Idra Novey’s The Next Country surveys a terrain that’s truly multifaceted and calibrated down to every word, every nuance. Each poem’s imagistic certainty enlarges meaning. Line by line, a playful innuendo moves us, and we find ourselves in that rugged country of the human spirit where enlightenment and surprise are twin rulers.”—Yusef Komunyakaa

"The Next Country is a choice collection of poems. Bold, immediate, uninhibited by fashions, they are very American originals. Drawn from a big landscape, they are intimate with New York and Chile, desert and river, indoors and outdoors. Novey generates the lively mental action that is the joy of true art."—Marie Ponsot

"The title of Novey's collection resonates throughout, whether referring to foreign land, dreamscape, marriage or 'the unseen face.' The miraculous and unexpected interrupt the commonplace, as when a violin assembles itself in the poet's coat pocket, or when a blind donkey occupies a dead tiger's cage at the zoo. In the end, we are transported 'To Byzantium, By Train,' on a journey of haunting self-transformation, and we realize in what deft hands we have been held from the beginning."—Carolyn Forché

“In The Next Country, Idra Novey exemplifies a quiet identification with the everyman, not an exclamatory one.”- Great American Pinup

"Novey strikes a fine balance between hints and allusions to political history and generalized or allegorical locales, not proper nouns or place names but 'leaping wells to the underworld'. . ."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Each poem is a country and as we read we move from country to country, between regions of human experience, through the territory of the imagination… Novey’s appeal to our natural (irresistible) curiosity about where we are, where we are going, and what’s over the next hill, will win every time.”—Taurpaulin Sky

“Novey’s collection deftly navigates complex ideas about politics, history and memory by creating timeless allegories...The Next Country is a quiet beauty of a book.”-Lilith

"[Novey’s] spare poems are enticing…luring the reader in with just a few compelling, carefully chosen details…leaving the reader to marvel and wonder and want more."-Pleiades


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Alice James Books (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1882295714
  • ISBN-13: 978-1882295715
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,684,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Aimee Walker on November 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
Idra Novey writes the kind of poetry that performs small miracles with every turn, and surprises her readers with each line. This book contains poems that are extremely intelligent, with enough wisdom and innovation to satisfy those who have read poetry for years. Yet the poems are also very readable, and their beauty beckons even to those who may not consider themselves poetry readers. Anyone who wants to know more about how language, nation, and family can shape our lives and our relationships, should read this book.
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Format: Paperback
The observations in THE NEXT COUNTRY are quiet, yet acute and artful. One of my favorite poems in the collection was about passing through Customs with her husband--not declaring the catalog of the risks or secrets of the human heart. Another "Postcard of Two Birds, Scattered Feathers" is focused and tight, yet leaves room for the reader to make the reader's own discoveries about relationships in the "green quiet." "Nocturne with Waking Bear" is also a fine poem. Novey's poems are uniquely positioned. Here is an artist who is thinking about how to set her poems in easily receivable, but artful new ways--a very good impulse for a poet with much to bring to the table! After reading "The Next Country" I wanted more Novey poems . . . another Novey book . . . .
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Format: Paperback
This is an amazing first book, lyrical and beautiful but also full of meaning. These poems are so insightful, smart, funny, and everything that poems should be. The "next country" is an apt metaphor for the different territories of people's lives, and occasionally in physically disparate places.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A beautiful and deep perspective of life where the places speak the secrets of the soul and the soul finds itself asking the territory about who they are and why they are. I liked it very much, refreshing poetry as it should be, as simple as the beauty we find everywhere that is not trying to be beautiful or deep but it is.
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