VCU English professor publishes acclaimed new poetry collection

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Kathleen Graber
Kathleen Graber

Kathleen Graber, associate professor in the Department of English in the College of Humanities and Sciences, has published a new collection of poems, “The River Twice,” (Princeton University Press, 2019) that is being described as an “elegiac meditation on impermanence and change.”

Graber is the author of two previous collections, “Correspondence” (Saturnalia Books, 2006) and “The Eternal City” (Princeton University Press, 2010). “The Eternal City” was a finalist for a National Book Award and a National Book Critics Circle Award.

According to the publisher, “The River Twice” features poems that “wander widely, from the epistolary to the essayistic, shuffling the remarkable and unremarkable flotsam of contemporary life.”

“The world presented in these poems is a fluid one in which so much — including space and time, the subterranean realm of dreams, and language itself — seems protean, as the speaker's previously familiar understanding of the self and the larger systems around it gives way,” according to the publisher.

In a New York Journal of Books review, author Peter Grandbois called “The River Twice” a “masterful collection.”

“In Graber’s poems, we don’t always get to know where we’re going,” Grandbois wrote. “We don’t even always get warnings that the destination has changed. In the end, though, she reminds us of our deep desire for connection, both as the primary force behind change and as anchor in a universe that often feels like a hurricane tearing us apart.”