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Our Classical Heritage: A Homing Device

Caroline Noble Whitbeck


Classical Heritage Cover

Praise for Caroline Noble Whitbeck from Arielle Greenberg

Our Classical Heritage: A Homing Device is a pleasurable and witty work, pinned sharply but delicately to reality through images of cultural detritus and evocations of American childhood. The force of the voice here is redoubtable. The world as described may be a dizzying soup of existence, but Caroline Noble Whitbeck can always locate herself.

From C.D. Wright

Opening with benisons infused with invective, Caroline Whitbeck's debut book reveals the armature of a classicist and the musculature of a crunk artist. The tone is forever-young exuberant; the vocabulary crosses every threshold, yet they are but understory to a flaming canopy. So, "strap a beefsteak to that, throw a /trainwreck. Hands/down where the money is these/days."

From Jen Tynes

The white breaks and silences are just as captivating and curious as the word-thirsty explosions in these poems; both are the buzz rising from an underground something: part sarcophagus (flesh eater? flesh keeper?), part dynamic new kind of wiring.

From Forrest Gander

Given the jolt of the diction and the exuberant, spring-loaded rhythms, it's no wonder that Caroline Whitbeck's poems seem to vibrate on the page as though they teemed with extra electrons. The miracle is that they hold to the page at all. She manages the highest level of risk per given unit of time. A dazzling poet!

Interviews and Reviews

  • From Susan Yount's review at Arsenic Lobster, Issue 17, Summer 2008

    "Caroline Noble Whitbeck’s is a new, singular voice in the modern world of poetry—truly, a new kind of gothic. Winner of the Gatewood Prize selected by Arrielle Greenberg, Whitbeck’s first full length book, Our Classical Heritage: A Homing Device, showcases radical forms, diction and syntax. Moreover, it offers exciting new ways for a poem to metabolize."

  • From Andy Frazee's review at WordFor/Word, Issue 14, Fall 2008

    "Throughout the work, we are constantly forced to locate and re-locate ourselves, to find a home within the text as the poet constructs and disrupts the linguistic ground we stand on�Whitbeck's most dynamic formal performance may best be described as a particular melding of textualist experimentation and the more traditional dramatic monologue."