Bill Wolak

The Nakedness Defense

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If the unexpected interests you, Bill Wolak’s poems in The Nakedness Defense will captivate you with their mixture of kinky subjects and historical oddities rendered in an uncomplicated narrative style. These poems delight in unwinding tantalizing anecdotes with surgically precise language. The book is an erotologist’s investigation into the culturally shifting representations of love, arousal, gender bending, aphrodisiacs, magical charms, and other sexual enigmas and transgressions. Divided into four chronological sections, Confusing the Gods, A Thousand Pounds of Cobwebs, Bathtub Banquets, and The Celestial Bed, the poet sets out to explore Assyria, Phoenicia, Egypt, Greece, Thrace, Persia, Rome, and then medieval and modern Europe. During his journey through time and space, the poet touches on such famous and infamous characters as Alexander, Xerxes, Phryne, Anacreon, Archilochus, Alcibiades, Sennacherib, Elagabalus, Nero, Cleopatra, Valerian, Caligula, St Jerome, Raymond Llull, Ulrich von Lichenstein, Avicenna, Abdul Kassem Ismael, Casanova, Jean-Jacque Rousseau, Dr. James Graham, Louis XV, Charles Baudelaire, Edward VII, and C.P. Cavafy. Perhaps the book can best be conceptualized as a belated report to Tiberius’ Office of Unfamiliar Carnal Pleasures.

Bill Wolak is a poet who lives in New Jersey and teaches Creative Writing at William Paterson University. His most recent collection of poetry was entitled Love Opens the Hands: New and Selected Love Poems published by Nirala Publications in 2015. His poetry has appeared in over a hundred magazines. His most recent translation with Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, Love Me More Than the Others: Selected Poetry of Iraj Mirza, was published by Cross-Cultural Communications in 2014. His translations have appeared in such magazines as The Su Journal, Basalt, Visions International, World Poetry Journal, and Atlanta Review. His critical work and interviews have appeared in Notre Dame Review, Persian Heritage Magazine, Gargoyle, Southern Humanities Review, The Paterson Literary Review, Ascent, Florida English, The Seventh Quarry, and Prime Numbers Magazine. Mr. Wolak has been awarded several National Endowment for the Humanities scholarships and two Fulbright-Hays scholarships to study and travel in India. In 2007, he was selected to participate in a Friendship Delegation to Iran sponsored by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, America’s largest and oldest interfaith peace and justice organization. During the Summer of 2010, Mr. Wolak was awarded a Field Study Opportunity in China and Japan by the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia. He was selected to be a featured poet at festivals in India four times: at the 2011 Kritya International Poetry Festival in Nagpur, at the 2013 Hyderabad Literary Festival, at the Tarjuma 2013: Festival of Translators in Ahmedabad, and at the 2014 Hyderabad Literary Festival. In 2016, he was a featured poet at The Mihai Eminescu International Poetry Festival in Craiova, Romania; Europa in Versi, Lake Como, Italy; The Pesaro International Poetry Festival, Pesaro, Italy, The Xichang-Qionghai Silk Road International Poetry Week, Xichang, China; and Ethnofest, Pristina, Kosovo.

ISBN 978-1-77171-215-6
Poetry
170 pages
6 x 9
$24.95
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