Eleanor WilnerBefore Our Eyes: New and Selected Poems, 1975–2017

Join Antigone Books for poetry readings by Julie Swarstad Johnson, author of Pennsylvania Furnace (Unicorn Press), and Eleanor Wilner, author of Before Our Eyes: New and Selected Poems, 1975—2017 (Princeton, $17.95).

As Julie Swarstad Johnson journeys east from present-day Arizona, her poems travel both geography and time, arriving in a pre-Civil War Pennsylvania crowded with steel mills and ironworks. There, other voices rise up to join hers, allowing the poet to plumb experiences beyond those of her singular self; a woodcutter struggling to support her family cord by cord, an ironmaster’s daughter trading the fetters of her father for those of a husband. Built on careful research and evocative place-based observations, Pennsylvania Furnace is a book of incandescent intelligence, fired by the haunting beauty of its resonant images. Contact Antigone Books to reserve Pennsylvania Furnace.

A major new collection from the winner of the 2019 Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry, Before Our Eyes gathers more than 30 new poems and also features widely anthologized works. In the new poems, Wilner records the bewildering public shocks of the current moment, when civic life is under threat, when language itself is attacked, and when poetry’s lens of collective imagination becomes a way to resist falsity, to seek meaning, and to really see what is before our eyes. A poet who engages with history in lyrical language, Wilner creates worlds that reflect on and illuminate the actual one, drawing on the power of communal myth and memory to transform them into agents of change. Visit Antigone Books online to reserve Before Our Eyes.

About the Author


Eleanor Wilner is the author of seven previous collections of poetry, most recently Tourist in Hell and The Girl with Bees in Her Hair. In 2019, she received the Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry, the highest award presented by the Poetry Society of America. Her other awards include the Juniper Prize, three Pushcart Prizes, and a fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation, and her work appears in many anthologies, including The Best American Poetry. She teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and lives in Philadelphia.