And So Wax Was Made & Also Honey

by Amy Beeder


Beeder’s third collection, And So Wax Was Made & Also Honey brims with lyrical invention and dark wit. In this lush universe, Hermes moonlights as a process server and malaria croons a love song; saints emerge from beans while Kronos and Eros argue at a local bar: ‘love’s nothing/but glimmer-to-wither, dawn’s fireflies expired.’ In language singularly baroque and hypnotic, Beeder takes us on a wild poetic adventure: this book is, as Dana Levin says, “a treasure-house wizarding through time,” through landscapes ancient and present, real and reimagined: gold mine to Victorian graveyard, a fair’s midway to The House of Être, from ‘late Holocene out to the farthest buoy’.


Format: Paperback
Published: December 2020

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ISBN: 978-1-946482-36-5 Category:

Poetry Society of Virginia North American Book Award Finalist 2021

“When Polish-born Joseph Conrad was asked why he wrote in English, he said “Because Flaubert was already writing in French.” That’s the risk you’ll take reading Amy Beeder’s And So Wax Was Made & Also Honey: that you’ll want to find another language to write in because there’s no way you can possibly compete with her. Beeder’s work is so splendid and precise that I want to fold my iPad in half with a hammer. I’m a chimp gazing at stars; Beeder is Stephen Hawking.” — David Epstein, Heavy Feather Review

“In her third collection, Amy Beeder offers worlds past and contemporary in diction nearly Elizabethan, in poems as witty and sly as any from that virtuosic literary era. In one, Phaethon, son of Helios, sends a junk email solicitation: ‘Madame, I respectfully offer you 12 percent despite // the unsteered chariot spokes & wheels thus shattered’; in another, Beeder evokes the trials of high school: ‘despite crepe-paper pageants; ditto homeroom, ditto stillborn pigs / that we & suburbs’ cruelest sons in eighty-six did grimly // flense, dissect & trim with pins;’ For me, the deepest drive of this book revealed itself in the fantastic ‘Leviathan.’ Read that poem and weep, and laugh, and, as with so many of the poems here, encounter Beeder as a medium, bringing words and phrasing back to us we thought long gone. This book is a verbal treasure-house wizarding through time.” —Dana Levin

“Amy Beeder’s poems are willfully baroque in their concatenations, committed to a sensuality of language that might, in other hands, smother its charms. But Beeder’s touch remains so witty, so light, that even the densest language vaults clean over the phenomena it purports to describe.  Reading Beeder is like taking an ornate, perhaps even gilded, chartered gondola to a mysterious island only to discover that Ashbery arrived there decades ago and has already opened both a research institute and a lawn-and-garden boutique.” —G.C. Waldrep

“This book is a linguistic achievement, kinetically rigorous and hypnotic. From shudder to pleasure, we follow Beeder’s electrified romp through impertinent history, traveling underworld and round the world. A book of all sorts of histories, science, ciphers and techniques. Read these percussive poems aloud: the swaddled diction rolling, tripping, stuttering out of you. ‘The end comes…so quick your snare of nerves will never sense it.’” —Lauren Camp

The historical and fantastical mingle in gleeful harmony in the richly imagined third collection from Beeder.” —Publishers Weekly

Amy Beeder is the author of Burn the Field and Now Make An Altar (Carnegie Mellon University Press). A recipient of an NEA Fellowship, a “Discovery”/The Nation Award and a James Merrill Fellowship, she has worked as a creative writing instructor, freelance writer, reporter, political asylum specialist, sous-chef, high-school teacher in West Africa, and an election and human rights observer in Haiti and Suriname. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, AGNI, The Southern Review and many other journals. She lives in Albuquerque.

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Weight 0.25 lbs