Ampersand Revisited

Ampersand Revisited

Winner of the 2013 National Poetry Series

Selected by Ariana Reines

Purchase from Fence Books

GoodReads Page

Sample Poems:

First 7 pages

in New World Writing

in Construction Magazine

in Blackbird

in Blackbird


American Micro-Reviews and Interviews (Carleen Tibbetts)

The Critical Flame (Nora Delaney)

Publishers Weekly

Woodland Patterns (Jay Besemer)

Rosemary and Reading Glasses (Carolyn Oliver)


Ampersand Revisited is an inverted Odyssey, etched in searing—downright entomological—precision, tracking a father’s retreat from occultism through the wounded meshwork of the son’s very grammar. Magical powers—ancient craftiness—might make the epic hero, but they are an impossible burden to live with in the Manichean, and very American, riddle that forges Ampersand’s poeisis. Crossed & re-crossed with sex & suicide, school & mystery school, the book is the vivid, laconic gloss of the ravages of mystical knowing.” —Ariana Reines

“Simeon Berry is an alchemist. He unlatches memory from time; transforms the cold silence of observation into flashing thought. Here, boxed moments are packed and unpacked, shuffled and re-inhabited. Berry revisits his personal history with both inscription and divination, in an attempt to bring his understanding into the present tense. In Ampersand Revisited, the blueprints of the past are still being drawn, and time is no longer obligated to keep its promise of inflexibility.” —Richard Siken

“In Ampersand Revisited, Simeon Berry offers up a poetic bildungsroman of dazzling brio and brash inventiveness, a worthy successor to some of the great contemporary efforts in this mode: one hears echoes, among others, of Lowell’s Life Studies, Hejinian’s My Life and Brainard’s I Remember. Like these works, it is a work of formal risk-taking, of pathos alternating with wry humor, and, ultimately, of self-regard transfiguring to a hard-won self-awareness. Debut collections as accomplished as this are a very rare thing indeed.” —David Wojahn

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