The winner of the inaugural APR/Honickman First Book Award, Things are Happening investigates dramatic emotional landscapes in a peculiar, lucid poetry based in contemporary speech. Chosen from over 1,200 manuscripts and introduced by the distinguished poet Gerald Stern, this is a book of visionary, affectionate poems.
“I think Beckman is a visionary poet, by which I mean he is in touch with something tenuous, and that he feels the other voice or the other thing inside him… There is form, diction, subject matter, language, and music.” —Gerald Stern, from the introduction
“The book contains… meditations and narrations told simply, directly, and with a rich sense of humor.” —Library Journal
“This book seduced me on the spot. I instantly started longing to become friends with the world in it. It’s fresh, it’s new, its fairness makes me grateful for reading it. There are no similarities with Apollinaire or Ginsberg, except with what they were doing with Time when they were young.” —Tomaž Šalamun
“[Joshua Beckman] is one of those poets whose work you mustn’t miss. His talent shines in his ability to make disparate events become part of a whole.” —Susan Swartwout
“This book introduces a daring poet who is not afraid to combine long narrative poems with experimental patterns… Beckman’s poems cannot be categorized into any thriving school of poetry. Each one carries its own weight and draws from a wise and splendid knowledge of language.” —Bloomsbury Review
“Gestures of affirmation in the face of uncertainty mark Joshua Beckman’s Things are Happening… In scope and generosity, the six lengthy poems which comprise the book recall at times Whitman and the Williams of Paterson, as well as O’Hara’s genius for the daily, and Lorca’s and Machado’s musicality.” —Boston Review