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Canceled – W&L’s Wheeler Publishes Fifth Full-Length Poetry Collection Wheeler will host a public book launch for her fifth full-length poetry collection, “The State She’s In,” on March 22 from 2:30-4 p.m. at Sweet Treats Bakery in Lexington.

state-cover-1 Canceled - W&L’s Wheeler Publishes Fifth Full-Length Poetry Collection“The State She’s In”

Lesley Wheeler, the Henry S. Fox Professor of English at Washington and Lee University, will host a public book launch for her fifth full-length poetry collection, “The State She’s In,” on March 22 from 2:30-4 p.m. at Sweet Treats Bakery in Lexington. Wheeler will be joined by W&L professors Seth Michelson, Ellen Mayock, Leah Green, Caleb Dance and Gordon Ball, as well as professors Julie Phillips Brown (VMI), Leona Sevick (Bridgewater College), Lauren Alleyne (James Madison University), and fellow poets Cynthia Atkinson and Patsy Asuncion. All proceeds will go to Project Horizon in Lexington.

For some of the poems in the collection, Wheeler conducted archival research in W&L’s Special Collections.

“I’m interested in the violence of Virginia’s history and the ways that violence reverberates into the present,” said Wheeler. “I’m also thinking about what it means to be a woman here and now, as well as exploring my relation to the more-than-human world.”

Diane Seuss, author of “Four-Legged Girl” and “Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl” praised Wheeler’s newest collection, saying “Lesley Wheeler’s poems call us to power and challenge us to own our dazzle even as they explore gradations of despair, as a woman navigates the Trump years, marching in a cold city ‘pinked/by hats with pointy ears,’ ever alert to her ‘inhospitable secret vagina’  and whether it will ‘be grabbed or/judged not fit for grabbing.’ Wheeler’s formal virtuosity wheels and sparks as she explores the impact of whiteness and sexism on the literal state—its history, its land, its educational institution—she occupies.”