Three Talks: Metaphor and Metonymy, Meaning and Mystery, Magic and Morality

Three Talks is the first prose collection by the award-winning poet and educator Brenda Hillman. These short essays on six M’s of the art of poetry make the form accessible in a novel way, exploring words that might appear incompatible but become dancing partners in Hillman’s artistic vision: metaphor and metonymy; meaning and mystery; magic and morality.

First delivered as a series of talks at the University of Virginia, the essays maintain a casual, intimate tone. A consummate artist and technician, Hillman explores a wide array of poetic examples, focusing on method, subject matter, and inspiration to demonstrate how the skills offered by poetry have become critically important for our present moment.