Poetry. Religion & Spirituality. The dictionary definition of "hagiography" is a biography of a saint, but though some saints turn up here, Michael Joyce's A HAGIOGRAPHY OF HEAVEN AND VICINITY is more a travelogue through a unique poetic landscape where the spiritual and secular intertwine, "salvation and damnation mixed," in a heady brew of cultural highbrow and pop, of past and present, the imagined and real. The book both begins and ends with images of "an ordinary place upon this earth," one the "placeless place" of a shopping mall (where Saul of Tarsus contemplates the end of prophesy while eating sesame chicken), the other the author's memories of a street corner in Uppsala, which in its very lack of anything remarkable answers the "silence of god." As this book travels the interpenetration of the sacred and the mundane, it is also a celebration, brilliantly and joyfully done.
Michael Joyce's fourteen books and several digital works—most recently the novel REMEDIA: A PICARESQUE (Steerage, 2018) and the poems A HAGIOGRAPHY OF HEAVEN AND VICINITY (Broadstone, 2017)—span a career as novelist, poet, critic, theorist, digital literature pioneer, and multimedia artist. His poems have appeared in Agni, Beloit Poetry Journal, Fence, Gastronomica, /nor (New Ohio Review), New Review, OR (Otis Review), Parthenon West Review, TAG Journal, The Common, The Iowa Review, and THE SHOp (Cork). With Gabriella Frykhamn he has published translations of the Swedish modernist poet Karin Boye in Spoon River Poetry Review, Metamorphoses, and Notre Dame Review. Two book-length sequences of poems, PARIS VIEWS (2011), and BIENNIAL: POEMS (2015), were published by BlazeVOX [books]. He lives along the Hudson River near Poughkeepsie where he is Professor of English and Media Studies at Vassar College.Author City: POUGHKEEPSIE, NY USA