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In Memory of a Banyan Tree: Poems of the Outside World: 1985 to 2022
Three Wooden Trunks
The Country Where Everyone’s Name Is Fear: Selected Poems
  Philip Memmer

ISBN 978-0-9991994-4-2     $18  /  $21 (Canada)     5.5 x 8.5       

82 pp      
PUB DATE: April 2019       Book Release Featured Poetry


In the elegant poems of Philip Memmer’s Pantheon the gods talk back to us—the gods of error, of doubt, of extinction, of erosion. Memmer’s poems are almost mathematical in their precision, their questing after a logic that defies what’s already known. Pantheon offers beautiful, haunting, teasing encounters. The god of everywhere, the last god to speak, asks for what this impressive collection consistently accomplishes: “Surprise me.”

—Lee Upton, author of Bottles the Bottles the Bottles the Bottles: Poems and Visitations: Stories

One of the crucial functions of poetry is to help us see through our illusions. The poems in Philip Memmer’s Pantheon remind us that what we might call gods are masks for our own inner lives. And he offers us crossings—from the sacred to the profane; from light to shadow; from tutelary spirits to those who deny us. This is a vital, original collection.

—Stephen Kuusisto, author of Letters to Borges and Only Bread, Only Light


About the Author

Philip Memmer

Philip Memmer is the author of four previous collections of poems, including The Storehouses of the Snow: Psalms, Parables, and Dreams (Lost Horse Press 2012); Lucifer: A Hagiography, winner of the 2008 Idaho Prize for Poetry; Threat of Pleasure, winner of the 2008 Adirondack Literary Award; and Sweetheart, Baby, Darling. His poems have appeared in such journals as Poetry, Poetry Northwest, and Poetry London; in many anthologies, including Don’t Leave Hungry: Fifty Years of Southern Poetry Review and 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day; and in Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” column. Twice a Hawthornden Fellow, he is Executive Director of the YMCA’s Downtown Writers Center in Syracuse, New York, and also serves as Associate Editor for Tiger Bark Press.



You kneel on the dirt of a world
I didn’t build, your closed eyes

to a heaven I’ve never ruled.
What praises, what petitions
do you make

in that voice I cannot hear, in that tongue
I cannot speak?
How devoted

you might seem, if only
I could see you. If only
I had arms, had hands,

how high I might lift you, how carefully
I might guide you
through the quiet

I can’t comprehend, to the paradise
neither one of us
quite believes.

—Philip Memmer