Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners

Edited by Robert Dewhurst, Joshua Beckman, and CAConrad

Wave Books, 2015

I am coeditor, with Joshua Beckman and CAConrad, of Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners, published by Wave Books in October 2015. The first new edition of Wieners’s poems in thirty years, Supplication gathers work by this most significant poet of the Black Mountain and Beat generation. It includes the full text of the 1958 edition of his influential The Hotel Wentley Poems, plus poems from rare sources, facsimiles, notes, and collages by Wieners.


“The Great Booksellers Fall Preview”
by Jarrod Annis, LitHub · August 27, 2015

John Wieners may have been our great unknown poet of supreme holy love and terror. Wave Books’ Supplication is more than a rediscovery—it’s a major poetic event that we should, all of us, be grateful for.

“A Queer Excess: The Supplication of John Wieners”
by Nat Raha, Critical Flame · September 7, 2015

An important volume, one that should place Wieners back into the canon of twentieth-century American poetic innovation . . . Supplication ends the posthumous era of exile for this misunderstood poet, steadying a flame of aesthetic devotion and poetic deviance for the audiences he long imagined.

“Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners”
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly · September 21, 2015

[A] marvelous selection . . . Unapologetically queer and overtly sexual, [Wieners] worries through the reality of gay life in mid-20th-century America.

“Two New Books Give Poet John Wieners an Overdue Look”
by Michael Andor Brodeur, Boston Globe · October 17, 2015

Supplication doesn’t come as a correction of the Black Sparrow Selected so much as a refinement. It offers a slimmer stack of poems, yet somehow feels more generous . . . Even these decades later, Wieners’s poems — so fresh and fluid, lurid, and luminous — still feel too vital to leave behind.

“Boston Boys”
by Dan Chiasson, New Yorker · November 2, 2015

[Wieners’s] afterlife exists in the form of these poems, a mental Boston, eerily lit by neon and street lights, through which the rest of us wander.

“Top Fall Indie Poetry”
by Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal · November 13, 2015

Wieners had the language, writing with a sheer and beautiful simplicity that condensed emotion to a vibrant point. Important for serious poetry readers and collections capturing poetry’s history.

“Divine Lines”
by Albert Mobilio, Bookforum · November 24, 2015

Wieners was that rare poet who risked everything for the sake of his art . . . Supplication offers a smart and eclectic introduction.

“Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners”
by Stephen Burt, American Poets · Fall-Winter, 2015

A bracingly major surprise . . . Lovelorn, excited, addicted, inspired.

“The Purity of Something I Do Not Know: On John Wieners’s Selected Poems and Selected Journals”
by Justin Taylor, Electric Lit · December 10, 2015

An abundantly rewarding book, a treasure-house of occult desperation and wonder; a rage against life that somehow hungers for more life . . . a work of understated panache.

“The Hurts of Wanting the Impossible”
by Matt Longabucco, Jacket2 · January 26, 2016

The editors of this volume . . . provide much interesting new material while also preserving the best from Foye’s earlier selection.


“The Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2015”
Publishers Weekly · July 30, 2015

“My 10 Favorite Books”
by Eileen Myles, New York Times · April 15, 2016

The Hotel Wentley poems are nested in here, and they are the most grandly erotic and heartfelt homosexual sketches about living out of time in friendship on the edge, and seeing the whole trembling picture of midcentury America from there.


Finalist, 2016 Firecracker Award in Poetry


“Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners”
by Michael Silverblatt, Bookworm (KCRW/NPR) · January 15, 2015

Readings / Talks

Celebration of John Wieners, City Lights Books · September 8, 2015
[Micah Ballard, Joshua Beckman, Bill Berkson, Garrett Caples, Robert Dewhurst, Duncan McNaughton, Diane Di Prima, Cedar Sigo, Michael Seth Stewart]

On the Life and Work of John Wieners, SFSU Poetry Center · September 10, 2015
[Robert Dewhurst, Michael Seth Stewart]
Recording at Poetry Center Digital Archive

Oral History Initiative: On John Wieners, Harvard University Woodberry Poetry Room · October 21, 2015
[Ammiel Alcalay, Jim Dunn, Raymond Foye, Fanny Howe, Gerrit Lansing; moderated by Robert Dewhurst]

John Wieners Celebration, Poets House · October 22, 2015
[Joshua Beckman, Monica de la Torre, Robert Dewhurst, Raymond Foye, Fanny Howe, Rachel Levitsky, Hoa Nguyen, Cedar Sigo, Lewis Warsh]
Full Recording at Poets House

A John Wieners Legacy Celebration, St. Mark’s Poetry Project · April 6, 2016
[Ammiel Alcalay, Felix Bernstein, Wo Chan, Lonely Christopher, CAConrad, William Corbett, Robert Dewhurst, Jim Dunn, Raymond Foye, Joey De Jesus, erica kaufman, Basil King, Martha King, Simon Pettet, Gabe Rubin, Christopher Soto (aka Loma), Stacy Szymaszek, Simone White]