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Potomac Books


Swallowing the Soap, Swallowing the Soap, 0803234058, 0-8032-3405-8, 978-0-8032-3405-5, 9780803234055, William Kloefkorn Edited and with an introduction by Ted Genoways, , Swallowing the Soap, 0803234414, 0-8032-3441-4, 978-0-8032-3441-3, 9780803234413, William Kloefkorn Edited and with an introduction by Ted Genoways

Swallowing the Soap
New and Selected Poems
William Kloefkorn
Edited and with an introduction by Ted Genoways

2010. 464 pp.
$26.95 t

This volume, the first to span the forty-year career of Nebraska state poet William Kloefkorn, brings together the best-known and most beloved poems by one of the most important Midwestern poets of the last half century. Collecting work from limited editions and hard-to-find books, along with Kloefkorn’s most anthologized poems, Swallowing the Soap is an indispensable one-volume compendium of the work of a major American poet.
“These poems aim for nothing less than the impossible: to understand what it means to be alive and human on this moveable earth,” writes the editor, Ted Genoways. Swallowing the Soap is filled with the panoramic landscapes of Kansas and Nebraska, the stories of the rough and tender people who live there, and the moments of heartache, brutality, loss, and redeeming joy that shape their lives. It offers a vision, at once intimate and expansive, of the world of the Great Plains as seen by one of its most eloquent poets.

William Kloefkorn (1932–2011) was an emeritus professor of English at Nebraska Wesleyan University and Nebraska’s state poet. He is the author of many volumes of poetry and a four-volume memoir: This Death by Drowning, Restoring the Burnt Child, At Home on This Moveable Earth, and Breathing in the Fullness of Time, all published by the University of Nebraska Press.
Ted Genoways is the editor of Virginia Quarterly Review and the author of Bullroarer: A Sequence. He has edited numerous books, including The Selected Poems of Miguel Hernández.

Praise for William Kloefkorn’s previous work:
“Kloefkorn is a perfect blend of poet, raconteur, and scholar. . . . Kloefkorn’s poetry—perhaps like all poetry—is about the price of wonder. Wonder at nature, wonder at fate, and wonder—finally, luminously—at the miraculous depths and tributaries of the human soul.”—Brent Spencer, Nebraska Life
“Kloefkorn’s style comes not only from long attention to the world, but from sustained immersion in the art and craft of language, and from granting himself the freedom to write at length and in depth about the people and places he cares about most. Such work can rise toward sublime visions of the interconnections of people and place.”—Jeff Gundy, Georgia Review

"There is always the rock; there is always Kloefkorn: generous, honest, ornery, clear-eyed. I invite you to read this very significant book, No. 2 pencil in hand, and mark your favorites."—Marge Saiser, Lincoln Journal Star

"Kloefkorn's ear for the midwestern rural vernacular is pitch-perfect, and his lines of dialogue and bits of country speech are alternately hilarious and deeply poignant."—Michael Sowder, Western American Literature

Winner of the 2011 Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards, poetry category.

Publication of this volume was assisted by The Virginia Faulkner Fund, established in memory of Virginia Faulkner, editor in chief of the University of Nebraska Press.

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Ted Kooser

Ted Kooser

This Death by Drowning
William Kloefkorn

Last Days of the Rainbelt
David J. Wishart