Songs from a Mountain
Poetry by Amanda Nadelberg
May 3, 2016 • 6 x 9 • 112 Pages • 978-1-56689-434-0
Panoramic narratives made from imaginary forms, daily commutes, circuits of walks—invitations to a new sense of memory and scale.
About the Author
Amanda Nadelberg is the author of Songs from a Mountain, Bright Brave Phenomena, and Isa the Truck Named Isadore. She lives in Oakland.
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“[Songs from a Mountain is] a wild, careening, conceptually wily (yet somehow ruly) book that refuses to keep its feet on the ground. . . . Through the de- and recontextualization of what was first familiar and is now strange, Nadelberg establishes herself as an exemplar of early 21st-century artistic practice.” —Publishers Weekly
“The act of reading these verbal experiments both pleasantly trips us up and trips a thinking switch that illuminates exciting new poetic territory.” —Booklist
“Nadelberg’s smart, delightful, deliberately disorganized third book at once carries forward the rangy, nonlinear oddity of her second . . . and recovers the stellar charm of her debut.” —American Poets
“Amanda Nadelberg’s poems . . . are jumping, funny, romantic, and frequently lyrical . . . which in the immediate reading is almost pure music.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Many folks read poets for their voices, and Nadelberg’s is delightful.” —Philadelphia Inquirer
“Reading the poems in Amanda Nadelberg’s Songs from a Mountain is like rappelling from the roof of a very tall apartment building—each poem acts as a small glimpse through the window of a brief moment of time in someone’s life.” —Bustle
“Songs from a Mountain is not only a collection of one poet’s expression and search for newness in the world, it is a reminder that writing, and poetry in particular, is not stagnant.” —Heavy Feather Review
“Nadelberg . . . surfs the sonic currents of contemporary language and stands in the back rush of a period spent observing.” —Dallas Morning News
“Boldly modern and powerful.” —Largehearted Boy
“In Songs from a Mountain Nadelberg’s writing is energetic and ethereal. At times it felt as though I was taken to a garden inside myself where memories bloom with time, and thoughts flit around like dragonflies as I lay in the lush green grass. Songs from a Mountain is a fine balancing act between light and dark energies, a balancing accomplished with the utmost grace.” —Poetry City, USA
“What is the virtue of digging in there as a poet, between the tangible and intangible? . . . The virtue lies in the emphasis, made surprising by Nadelberg’s nimble leaps, on how we understand and not just what we understand.” —Ron Slate
“Amanda Nadelberg’s poetry resembles a city where all kinds of things are happening at once, some of them funny and others pretty scary. The quasi-epic ‘Matson’ takes the form of a swarm. Suddenly words, thousands of them, have accrued to this particular subject; no one knows why. Its mass is almost frightening but good to be with. Songs from a Mountain is a dizzying achievement that rings out loud and precise and clear.” —John Ashbery
“I used to think of Amanda Nadelberg as basically a narrative poet. She invents characters and tells stories about them. A more discerning reader might have noticed the restless, playful spirit of linguistic experiment that is the most obvious feature of the surface of her poems, but in previous outings this energy was in harness to the tale she was telling.
Maybe she’s still a narrative poet. But in Songs from a Mountain, rhetoric runs wild. Narratives are condensed into small unities–epithets, comparisons, puns–held together by the lowly comma splice in lines of no more than two margins but sometimes as many as four caesural pauses. To characterize the complexity, richness, and surprise of this poetry, it would be appropriate to invoke Crane’s ‘logic of metaphor,’ and that should give you a sense of how rare a mixture this is.
Done well? Yes, please. Given a choice, I prefer to see something done well rather than poorly, and this volume skillfully does a kind of work that most of us have forgotten how to do. Well done, Nadelberg.” —Aaron Kunin