Survival Is a Style, Christian Wiman's first collection of new
poems in six years, may be his best book yet. His many readers will
recognize the musical and formal variety, the voice that can be
tender and funny, credibly mystical and savagely skeptical. But
there are many new notes in this collection as well, including a
moving elegy to the poet's father, sharp observations and
distillations of modern American life, and rangy poems that merge
and juxtapose different modes of speech and thought. The cumulative
effect is extraordinary. Reading Survival Is a Style, one has the
sense one is encountering work that will become a permanent part of
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