The Wise and Foolish Builders

The Wise and Foolish BuildersAlexandra Teague (MFA, 1998)

Persea Books, 2015

This chilling new collection by the author of Mortal Geography (winner of the California Book Award in poetry) is a verse exploration of American progress and its consequences, featuring rifle heiress Sarah Winchester and her unsettling Mystery House, with cameos by Harry Houdini, Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, Buffalo Bill and many other fascinating figures. Steeped in history yet wildly imaginative, these poems commune with Winchester’s haunted legacy and that of westward expansion, connecting voices from a troubled past with their irrepressible present-day echoes. The Wise and Foolish Builders is an unmistakable accomplishment by a poet of remarkable formal skill and fantastic originality.