Poetry. Waldrep's seventh collection begins where his prior collection, FEAST GENTLY, left off: "This / is how the witness ends: touch, withdraw; touch again," according to the opening poem in THE EARLIEST WITNESSES. If these are poems of witness, then they are also testators to the craft of seeing: eye-proofs of an epiphenomenal world. "Can you see this," the ophthalmologist in "A Mystic's Guide to Arches" asks over and over again. Sight becomes both the facilitator and impediment of desire, in collusion with language itself. "She said, When you say pear, I see p-e-a-r for a second before I see, in my mind's eye, a pear," Waldrep carefully records in "[West Stow Orchard Poem (II)]." The desire-poems in THE EARLIEST WITNESSES want the thing itself, its image of the mind, and the language that transmutes both thing and image into song.
G.C. Waldrep is the author of seven full-length collections of poetry, most recently THE EARLIEST WITNESSES (Tupelo Press, 2021), FEAST GENTLY (Tupelo Press, 2018), which won the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the long poem Testament (BOA Editions, 2015). Waldrep's work has appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, Paris Review, APR, New England Review, New American Writing, Harper's, Tin House, Verse, and many other journals in the USA and abroad, as well as twice in The Best American Poetry and in the second edition of Norton's Postmodern American Poetry. He has received prizes from the Poetry Society of America and the Academy of American Poets as well as the Colorado Prize, the Dorset Prize, the Campbell Corner Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, a Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative American Writing, and a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Literature. Waldrep lives in Lewisburg, Pa., where he teaches at Bucknell University and edits the journal West Branch.Author City: LEWISBURG, PA USA