Grounded in technical mastery, the poems in Out of Speech address issues both universal and timely. In this series of ekphrastic works, Adam Vines explores themes as varied as exile, family, disease, desire, and isolation through an array of twentieth- and twenty-first century painters, including Picasso, Hopper, Rothko, de Kooning, Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Artschwager. He also goes within and beyond these works of art to explore characters set in the present-day museums, from a bored docent to a misinformed “explainer” of an artwork’s meaning. Combining these two views—one that looks at the painting and another that looks around it—his poems affirm the artist’s insights into the complexity of being human.
Adam Vines is an assistant professor of English at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and editor of Birmingham Poetry Review. He is also the author of The Coal Life and coauthor of Day Kink and According to Discretion.
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