The Eternal City: Poems

Finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award


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Jul 1, 2010
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With an epigraph from Freud comparing the mind to a landscape in which all that ever was still persists, The Eternal City offers eloquent testimony to the struggle to make sense of the present through conversation with the past. Questioning what it means to possess and to be possessed by objects and technologies, Kathleen Graber’s award-winning second collection of poetry brings together the elevated and the quotidian to make neighbors of Marcus Aurelius, Klaus Kinski, Walter Benjamin, and Johnny Depp. Like Aeneas, who escapes Troy carrying his father on his back, the speaker of these intellectually and emotionally ambitious poems juggles the weight of private and public history as she is transformed from settled resident to pilgrim.

Awards and Recognition

  • Winner of the 2012 Book Merit Award in the General Trade, Poetry Series, New York Book Show
  • Finalist for the 2010 National Book Award in Poetry
  • Kathleen Graber, Winner of a 2017 Arts and Letters Award in Literature, American Academy of Arts and Letters
  • Winner of the 2011 Literary Award for Poetry, Library of Virginia
  • Finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry
  • Finalist for the 2011 William Carlos Williams Award, Poetry Society of America