Presenter of the National Book Awards

2010 National Book Award Finalist,

Kathleen Graber

The Eternal City

Princeton University Press

Photo credit: Lawrence Graber


With an epigraph from Freud comparing the mind to a landscape in which all that ever was still persists, The Eternal City offers eloquent testimony to the struggle to make sense of the present through conversation with the past. Questioning what it means to possess and to be possessed by objects and technologies, Kathleen Graber's collection brings together the elevated and the quotidian to make neighbors of Marcus Aurelius, Klaus Kinski, Walter Benjamin, and Johnny Depp. Like Aeneas, who escapes Troy carrying his father on his back, the speaker of these intellectually and emotionally ambitious poems juggles the weight of private and public history as she is transformed from settled resident to pilgrim.


Kathleen Graber teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker and The American Poetry Review, among other publications. Her first collection, Correspondence, was published in 2006.


Princeton University Press' webpage for The Eternal City

VIDEO - YouTube: Kathleen Graber reads two poems from The Eternal City