No Art | Granta

  • Published: 03/11/2016
  • ISBN: 9781783782741
  • 160x20mm
  • 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 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

Ben Lerner's hilarious, humane poetry is an instrument of phenomenal sensitivity: a telescope through which unforgettable images of the interior and exterior worlds are made visible, in the highest definition

Oli Hazzard

I look forward to Ben Lerner's poetry the way I used to anticipate a new record by my favourite band. He can be painfully funny and urgently serious in the same poem, self-excoriating and intellectually generous. For ten years I've gone to his work whenever I need reminding what's still possible, the expanse we have to fill, the lack (of subtlety, of life) we all write against. So many young British poets have already been influenced by his poetry, but No Art makes it available to a wider audience in the UK

Luke Kennard

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.

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‘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

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‘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.’