Ben Lerner
2023 |

A New Yorker Essential Read of 2023 Named a Best Book of 2023 by The Washington Post, Vulture, NPR, Financial Times, The Telegraph, and Electric Literature A formally ambitious and intensely felt new volume from the author of 10:04 and The Topeka School. The Lights is a constellation of verse and prose, voice mails and vignettes, songs and felt silences, that brings the personal and the collective into startling relation. Sometimes the scale is intimate, quiet, and sometimes the poems are sweeping, Orphic experiments in the animation of our common world. Written over a span of fifteen years, The Lights registers the pleasures, risks, and absurdities of making art and family and meaning against a backdrop of interlocking, accelerating crises, but for all their insight and critique, Ben Lerner’s poems ultimately communicate—in their unpredictability, in their intensities—the promise of mysterious sources of lift and illumination.

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The Lights