Stars Seen in Person

Stars Seen in Person
Selected Journals
Edited by Michael Seth Stewart
Introduction by Michael Seth Stewart
Preface by Ammiel Alcalay


"Wieners was that rare poet who risked everything for the sake of his art. Just how high he placed the stakes is now made clear by the appearance of his earliest prose work . . . in a new omnibus edition of four previously unpublished journals gathered under the title Stars Seen in Person . . . From the first pages the reader can't help but be struck by the force of his enthusiasm for things literary and his elevated sense of poetic destiny"––Albert Mobilio

"John Wieners: Love in the Archive"
May 2, 2016

Audio recording and video from Ammiel Alcalay and Michael Seth Stewart's lecture on John Wieners and Stars Seen in Person that took place at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York.

- The Center for the Humanities

BOMB Magazine

"The newly published journals match and exceed all preexisting Wieners publications . . . Journals editor Michael Seth Stewart's introduction and an intimate preface by Ammiel Alcalay do a splendid job situating Wieners as part of 'the occult school of Boston poetry.’"––Patrick Dunagan

The Boston Globe

"Read alongside the four journals spanning 1955-1969 assembled in Stars Seen in Person, the lilting, drifting highs, lows, and noise of his poems come to feel more like carefully distilled concentrates of his grander, wilder project of seeing, saying, and seizing as many moments as he could. In his early 'Untitled Journal of a Would-Be Poet,' Wieners turns a crucial corner in embracing the faith in breath Charles Olson put into his 'projective verse,' and the young poet coming 'back to poetry again' out of 'an admiration of men, an enthusiasm for men, whose whole lives have been devoted to its perfection. Not to poetry really, but to the poem.' A second journal, 'Blaauwildebeestefontein,' is rich with poems figuring themselves out, brief flashes of budding poetics ('The Known is never complete / enough. It is the unKnown which completes me.'). The third and fourth come from his time in Buffalo, where he went to resume studies with Olson in the late 1960s. Dark and difficult, these entries trace the bloom and failure of his relationship with a woman; they also serve as undercurrent for some of his strongest poems."––Michael Andor Brodeur

Beat Scene

"This is a harrowing book. A young twenty-year-old John Wieners lays bare his innermost thoughts in a selected journals that sees him living in the snowy wastes of a Boston winter … The four journals included here are previously unpublished, in thinking about American post war poetry this makes this a doubly important publication, adding, as it does, to our wider knowledge of a poet who while respected and admired by his poet peers, sometimes dipped under the radar in the bigger scheme of things … With this book and the publication of Supplication, a selected poems volume, it has to be hoped that his star will rise again."

On the Seawall

"[John Wieners] affiliations may define the narrative we use to shape his biography, but the endearing immediacy of the journals and the brisk freedoms of the poetry constantly reintroduce us to him as a sort of artistic free agent. His sacraments and confessions are not meant to lead him or the reader toward a higher state – they simply are the highest possible rung on a salvaging ladder of expression."—Ron Slate

Kenyon Review

"Beware: the electric energy of this avant-garde poet's early work could give you static shock. He articulates so well the heady struggle between writing aspirations and his perceived failures. But he's not immune to heartbreak, addiction, or leaving work unfinished (memorably, one story about a man who is addicted to taking swan boats in the park). There’s a gritty glamour to Wieners’s journals, which Fanny Howe called Letters to a Young Poet in reverse.’"––Kirsten Reach

Electric Literature

"Stars Seen in Person is an abundantly rewarding book, a treasure-house of occult desperation and wonder; a rage against life that somehow hungers for more life . . . There are also great flowing unparagraphed blasts of emotion, infused with Wieners's quintessential, paradoxical yearning for physicality and disappearance, carnality and self-erasure. For him the question was not 'to be or not to be,' but rather, why does it have to be an 'or' and not an 'and.'"––Justin Taylor

"In Review: Books of 2015, Joshua Marie Wilkinson"
Dec 1, 2015

Joshua Marie Wilkinson lists Stars Seen in Person: Selected Journals as one of his "books of 2015" for The Volta.

- The Volta

"On the Journals of John Wieners"
Dec 1, 2015

Adapted version of Michael Seth Stewart's introduction to Stars Seen in Person excerpted in issue 60 of The Volta, December 2015. Part of their feature on John Wieners.

- The Volta

"Oral History Initiative: On John Wieners"
Oct 28, 2015

Complete video of an event at the Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard University Library. This wide-ranging, poignant, revelatory, and often hilarious exploration of John Wieners featured a conversation with his dear friends: Ammiel Alcalay (who wrote the preface to Stars Seen in Person: Selected Journals (City Lights, 2015), Jim Dunn, Raymond Foye, Fanny Howe and Gerrit Lansing. With an introduction by Robert Dewhurst, co-editor of Supplication: Selected Poetry of John Wieners (Wave Books, 2015) and the author of a forthcoming biography of Wieners.

- Harvard University

"Robert Dewhurst and Michael Seth Stewart on the Life and Works of John Wieners: September 10, 2015"
Sep 10, 2015

Video of the complete reading: the Poetry Center presents poet-scholars Robert Dewhurst and Michael Seth Stewart reading from and discussing the works of poet John Wieners (1934–2002). The program includes a screening of the outtakes from Richard O. Moore's 1965 USA: Poetry public television documentary featuring John Wieners in San Francisco along with Robert Duncan.
Robert Dewhurst is one of the editors of Wave Books' Supplication: Selected Poetry of John Wieners and Michael Seth Stewart is the editor of Stars Seen in Person: Selected Journals by John Wieners (published by City Lights).

- The Poetry Center

"John Wieners Selected (Supplication) and Journals (Stars Seen in Person)"
Aug 13, 2015

The Allen Ginsberg Blog spotlights the two John Wieners selected works published in September—Stars Seen in Person: Selected Journals (City Lights) and Supplication (Wave Books).

"Not only one but two John Wieners books coming out in the Fall. The second of these, Stars Seen In Person—Michael Seth Stewart's masterly edit of Selected Journals, (with an introduction by Ammiel Alcalay)—(pub. date for that, 15th of September)—John's first appearance with the legendary City Lights, incidentally."

- The Allen Ginsberg Blog