Swamp Isthmus

by Joshua Marie Wilkinson
Paperback / 88p. / Poetry
ISBN 978-1-9395680-0-7

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Joshua Marie Wilkinson is the author of Selenography (with Polaroids by Tim Rutili), Swamp IsthmusThe Courier's Archive & Hymnal, and Meadow Slasher. He has edited five anthologies (of poems, essays, conversations, and poetics); directed a movie about Califone with Solan Jensen called Made a Machine by Describing the Landscape;edits a journal called The Volta, with Afton Wilky; and runs a small press called Letter Machine Editions, with Noah Eli Gordon. Born and raised in Seattle, he's lived in Slovakia, Chicago, Denver, Dublin, and now makes his home in Tucson, where he teaches at the University of Arizona.


Wilkinson is one of our essential contemporary poets, and Swamp Isthmus is among his essential works.

—The Kenyon Review

I can’t remember the last time a book of poems gave me such a bewildered, deep pleasure. It’s as if Joshua Marie Wilkinson made himself translucent so that these perfect, mysterious arrangements of world and word could shimmer through. I waited on every word, every line break, consistently taken by surprise, totally convinced and awed.

—Maggie Nelson

Joshua Marie Wilkinson can gently, kindly whirl with no regrets as his language, like a soft machine, enriches us. Freedom and light. And how many experiences! It just walks, producing what it wishes, imprinting these magic worlds into us. An inheritance for ever.

—Tomaž Šalamun

Swamp Isthmus puts into the eye everything you’ve ever imagined wanting but didn't know how to see. Star image, ‘a lake of bees’ over the eye-mind, what feeling is is what happens here. These poems know our questions before we know them, the things of our questions, and how we long into them—some deep yearning and also some re-recognition. I have a strong instinct to lick these pages.

—Dawn Lundy Martin

Joshua Marie Wilkinson writes a vivid and exuberant poetry. The authentic and surprising associations of Swamp Isthmus construct signposts to lucid and informing mysteries. These poems possess an inviting ease with numerous melodies. Swamp Isthmus is a dazzling collection.

—Michael Burkard