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Joshua Edwards: Imperial Nostalgias
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~Poetry~ | $15 ($14 direct from UDP)
Perfect-bound. 96 pp, 5 x 7.25 in.
ISBN 978-1-933254-86-9
Publication Date: March 1, 2013
Distribution: ~SPD~

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Imperial Nostalgias is the second collection by poet and translator Joshua Edwards. Written in Mexico, China, Germany, Nicaragua, and during a train trip around the U.S. and Canada, the book reckons with itinerancy, innocence, and American privilege, while pointing toward a strange horizon.



“Through a turnstile, past a diorama / of ruins, into the ruins themselves,” Joshua Edwards escorts us into the desert of the real in his haunting and prismatic second collection, Imperial Nostalgias. Deepening the archaeological excavation—or is it a salvage operation?—of his first book, Campeche, Edwards brushes the dust from the remains of history, desire, and nostalgia itself, to reveal “ruins as diorama, ruins as sculpture, / birds as music boxes. Everything / moves toward metaphor and dream.” A breathtaking cascade of parables, images, lyrics, and aphorisms, Imperial Nostalgias is necessary work, and required reading for anyone who has felt the cold undertow beneath all beauty. “Life,” writes this poet, “is terrible enough without swans.” 
—Srikanth Reddy 


Percy Shelley once famously asserted that poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, and Joshua Edwards has accepted this duty with a gentle humility.  Edwards hasn’t just shown us the shit around the tracks.  He’s taken us off the beaten path, illuminated both the derelict and the divine, and calls on us all to better the world we inhabit.”
—Carleen Tibbetts, The Rumpus 




Symbolic gestures feel
bound not by referential expression,

but by mystery and drama. If all
languages are essentially alike,
then softness or firmness is a matter
of tissues in which blood takes a clausal

complement. Taste for etymology,
however, comes from the poetry of
crucial decision making, fruit in one

hand and broad-bladed knife in the other.






05.15.14 | Joshua Edwards’ Imperial Nostalgias reviewed by Lucy Biederman

04.21.14 | Joshua Edwards interviewed by Houston Matters

02.04.14 | Joshua Edwards’ Imperial Nostalgias is reviewed in Dislocate

09.15.13 | Imperial Nostalgias by Joshua Edwards reviewed in Colorado Review

09.05.13 | Joshua Edwards and Lynn Xu present Architecture for Travelers

08.17.13 | Imperial Nostalgias by Joshua Edwards reviewed at The Rumpus

08.08.13 | Joshua Edwards is interviewed at The Volta

06.10.13 | Imperial Nostalgias by Joshua Edwards is reviewed in Prairie Schooner

05.31.13 | Joshua Edwards, author of Imperial Nostalgias is interviewed at New Books in Poetry

05.27.13 | Imperial Nostalgias by Joshua Edwards reviewed in Publishers Weekly

03.02.13 | UDP books by Joshua Edwards, Cecilia Vicuña, and Maged Zaher are on SPD’s February best seller list

Joshua Edwards

Joshua Edwards directs and co-edits Canarium Books. He’s the author of Campeche (with photographs by his father, Van Edwards) and the translator of Mexican poet María Baranda’s Ficticia. Currently a fellow at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, he divides his time between Stuttgart, Germany and Marfa, Texas with his wife, Lynn Xu.