Arne Weingart’s poetry is broadly published in journals and reviews. His first book, Levitation for Agnostics, was the winner of the 2014 New American Press Poetry Prize. He is the recipient of the 2019 Frost Foundation Prize and winner of the 2019 Red Mountain Press Poetry Prize. He lives in Chicago, where he is the principal of a graphic design firm specializing in identity and wayfinding.

Unpractical Thinking

2019 Red Mountain Poetry Prize

“What’s the point of literature,” asks Arne Weingart, “if you can’t / mistake one thing for another repeatedly // and with purpose?” Such droll humor pervades these poems in which Hitler’s children, Mark Rothko, and Old Elvis through all his permutations to Dead Elvis make appearances. His poems offer the pleasures of the intellect (“I prefer / to no longer speak in metaphors. / Nothing is like anything else anymore”) but are also full of the pleasures of the heart (as we still like to say) as the poet continues “singing / to his own kind.” Unpractical Thinking bristles with thorny wisdom and helpless affection.

Michael Waters