No Art | Granta

  • Published: 07/09/2023
  • ISBN: 9781783782765
  • Granta Books
  • 288 pages

No Art

Ben Lerner

This book brings together for the first time Ben Lerner’s three acclaimed volumes of poetry, along with a handful of newer poems, to present a decade-long exploration of the relationship between form and meaning, between private experience and public expression. No Art is an exhilarating argument both with America and with poetry itself, in which online slang is juxtaposed with academic idiom, philosophy collides with advertising, and the language of medicine and the military is overlaid with echoes of Whitman and Keats. Here, clichés are cracked open and made new, made strange, and formal experiments disclose new possibilities of thought and feeling. No Art confirms Ben Lerner as one of the most searching and ambitious poets working today.

Ben Lerner's poems are remarkable for their graceful, trenchant exploration of aesthetics, politics, voice, address, music, and structure. For admirers of Lerner's fiction who are just now coming to his poems, this volume will offer a compelling illustration of how poetry thinks and pleasures distinctly; for those coming to Lerner's writing for the first time altogether, an ardent, adamant, ever-questing poetics awaits you

Maggie Nelson

Ben Lerner's poetry, like his prose, is subject to its own agitated brilliance. Many would settle for his quickness and reach but Lerner works in tension with these and resists securing either himself of the reader. The result is poetry of rare immediacy and effect

Lavinia Greenlaw

No Art is a feast comprising form-defining modern prose poems, intellectual ease, and a distinctive style in fusing sound with vivid imagery and structure, humour with sadness

Charlotte Runcie, Daily Telegraph

The Author

BEN LERNER was born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1979. He has received fellowships from the Fulbright, Guggenheim, and MacArthur Foundations, and is the author of three internationally acclaimed novels, Leaving the Atocha Station, 10:04 and The Topeka School. He has published the poetry collections The Lichtenberg Figures, Angle of Yaw (a finalist for the National Book Award), Mean Free Path and No Art as well as the essay The Hatred of Poetry. Lerner lives and teaches in Brooklyn.

More about the author →

From the Same Author

Ben Lerner on

Fiction | Granta 148

The Spread

Ben Lerner

‘He began to feel less like he was delivering a speech and more like a speech was delivering him.’

Read an extract from Ben Lerner’s latest novel, The Topeka School.

Fiction | Granta 139

Bright Circle

Ben Lerner

‘Things he dreamt began to show up in the bushes, the plastic figurine from a parachute firework, the small dull rusted circular saw blade he thought of as a throwing star, and he pocketed those things.’

Poetry | Granta 120


Ben Lerner

‘My role in the slaughter doesn’t disqualify the beauty I find in all / forms of sheltered flame.’