In his long-awaited follow-up to Crush, Yale Younger Poets award winner Richard Siken has created a collection of stunning power and beauty. With interwoven lyrics, fables, portraits and landscapes, Siken confronts the ways in which we look to art for meaning and purpose. “The paint doesn’t move the way the light reflects, / so what’s there to be faithful to? I am faithful / to you, darling. I say it to the paint.”
Through multiple layers of mirrors and refraction, the poems in War of the Foxes show the fallacies inherent in a search for truth, both in the world outside and within the self. Sometimes brutal, sometimes tender, Richard Siken has created another formidable, living work of poetry that will reinforce his reputation as one of the most exciting poets writing today.
“Slippery, magnetic riffs on the arbitrary divisions made by the human mind in light of the mathematical abstractions that delete them; poetry lovers will want to read.” —Library Journal, starred review
“[P]oems of passion, examining what it means to love, to be, and to create.” —Vanity Fair
“Poems primarily about painting and representation give way to images that become central characters in a sequence of fable-like pieces. Animals, landscapes, objects, and an array of characters serve as sites for big, human questions to play out in distilled form. Siken’s sense of line has become more uniform, this steadiness punctuated by moments of cinematic urgency.” —Publishers Weekly
“This may be the most anticipated poetry book of the last decade… expect it to haunt you.” —NPR
“War of the Foxes builds upon the lush and frantic magic of Richard Siken’s first book, Crush. In this second book, Siken takes breathtaking control of the rich, varied material he has chosen… Siken paints and erases—the metaphor of painting with words allows him to leave those traces that mostly go unseen. He is the Trickster. If paint/then no paint. He does this with astonishing candor and passion.” —The Rumpus