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Our Classical Heritage by Caroline Whitbeck

Winner of the 2006 Gatewood Prize, selected by 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."  —Arielle Greenberg

"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.' " —C.D. Wright

"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."  —Jen Tynes


"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!"  —Forrest Gander

Big City Lit review of Our Classical Heritage


Rattle review of Our Classical Heritage

Caroline Noble Whitbeck holds a BA in Classics (Latin) from Harvard College and an MFA from Brown University. Born and raised in New York City, she currently resides in Philadelphia, where she is working toward a PhD in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania. Her short play "Woof" was produced off-Broadway as part of the Young Playwrights Festival 2000. Our Classical Heritage: A Homing Device, winner of the 2006 Gatewood Prize from Switchback Books, is her first book.

Our Classical Heritage by Caroline Whitbeck

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