Jennifer Michael Hecht writes delightfully tricky poems that wildly bend the sense of our language as they swerve back and forth between the realms of the colloquial and the absurd. The result of these maneuvers is The Next Ancient World - a deconstructed soap-opera, a one-hundred-ring verbal circus, a gang of brazen, ingenious poems.
— Billy Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate



Even Eve, the only soul in all of time
to never have to wait for love,
must have leaned some sleepless nights
alone against the garden wall
and wailed, cold, stupefied, and wild
and wished to trade-in all of Eden
to have but been a child.

In fact, I gather that is why she leapt and fell from grace,
that she might have a story of herself to tell
in some other place.


Winner of the Tupelo Press Judge's Prize 2001

Winner of the ForeWord Magazine Poetry Book of the Year for 2001

Poetry from this volume also appeared in the Best American Poetry 1999, guest edited by Robert Bly (Scribner).

Jennifer Michael Hecht’s vivacious first book, The Next Ancient World, is the work of a sophisticated time-traveler who enjoys mediating between the distant past and the unknowable future. … Her poems excite thinking-they are vehicles of a restlessly curious intellect-and they never forget the poet’s categorical imperative: to delight and amuse as well as to instruct the reader.
— David Lehman, Author of The Evening Sun, Poetry Society of America Award Judge

From the back cover:

“Sharp and ripe, smart-alecky and wise, Hecht's poems...reveal a world far more witty than we thought, as dangerous, as lonely, and as tender.”
— Janet Holmes, author of The Green Tuxedo, Tupelo contest judge

“Completely astonishing. Fast, fiery, cut-to-the-quick, street-smart and woman-wise, as sophisticated as you can be.”
— Lawrence Joseph, author of Before Our Eyes

“Hecht's poetry is as exacting as an archeologist's tools-she strips away layers of the past, finds other ones embedded there, then keeps digging. Whatever her subject is she unearths timeless truths.”
— Hal Sirowitz, author of Mother Said

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