God of Nothingness: Poems
Author: Mark Wunderlich
Publisher: Graywolf Press (2021)
God of Nothingness is a book for those who have seen death up close or even quietly wished for it. In these poems, honed to a devastating edge, Mark Wunderlich asks: How is it we go on as those around us die? And why go on at all? This collection is a brilliant testament to the human ability to make something tough-minded and resilient out of despair and the inevitability of death drawing near. Some poems are moving elegies addressed to mentors, friends, and family recently gone; some contend with the unasked-for responsibilities of inheritance and the family name; others call forth the understanding of being the end of a genetic line; still others remember a rural midwestern coming-of-age and, chillingly, an encounter with the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Present all the while are the prevailing comforts and wonders found in the natural world, work, and the longing for traditions that seem to be passing from our time. Exquisite in its craft and capaciousness, God of Nothingness is an unflinching journal of solitude and survival.
“Mark Wunderlich’s poems are alarmingly wise, lyrically charged, and built out of an almost otherworldly clarity. . . . Wunderlich makes an argument not for beauty but for a clear-eyed resilience. God of Nothingness is a book that is as devastating as it is life-affirming, a weapon that both wounds and saves.”