Immortal Soft-Spoken

Immortal Soft-Spoken_Robert Vivian
Immortal Soft-Spoken_Robert Vivian

Immortal Soft-Spoken


This collection of dervish essays by Robert Vivian is a love letter to the world.

Vivian has published three collections of essays: Cold Snap as Yearning, The Least Cricket of Evening, and Mystery My Country. His novels include Water and Abandon and The Tall Grass Trilogy.

This pocket edition is designed to travel with you.
4.5 x 5”


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“Reading Robert Vivian’s Immortal Soft Spoken is like watching light shatter and dance across the surface of a long sinuous river in early evening—one sustained ecstatic experience in which we are thrown both out of ourselves and into a universe of connections and correspondences. These lyric eruptions borrow as much from Jonathan Edwards as Walt Whitman, Hölderlin as Hafiz, and leave us blinded, free, “surrendering our God-Husks to the mighty current that seeks to sweep us ever away.” In this time of cynicism, fear and anger, what a joyful, what a necessary, gift.”


“Reading Robert Vivian’s new collection of prose is like finally being allowed to be human. That is to say that these short, ecstatic, pieces gives one permission to swell with love, grief, anxiety, and joy. When I closed the book I felt as if I had been touched by something greater than myself, something mystical and mysterious and I was made better for it, left happy and delirious”

— Matthew Dickman, author of ALL AMERICAN POEM and MAYAKOVSKY'S REVOLVER

“A ladybug, a dust mote, black ink—these are the sorts of things that Vivian hooks into just before he surrenders to the luscious language, imagery, and ALL that arrive attached to what’s been “hooked.” The wild swirl often starts quietly, contemplatively, but gradually the speaker (and ditto the reader) is simultaneously both subsumed by and released by that all. The joy of the dance itself seems key. So does a clear gratitude for the physical world as a window on the metaphysical, allowing “the wails and cries of ecstatic release, the whispers in what broken tenderness this is and must be.” Vivian turns a generous eye, a marvelous ear, and a tender heart toward the experience of living fully in the rush of these dervish dances. These are lushly rendered proses to savor and/or devour.”

— Nance Van Winckel