Self Portrait of Icarus as a Country on Fire

In Self Portrait of Icarus as a Country on Fire, Jason Schneiderman confronts the rise of extremism and antisemitism in the United States while grappling with the end of his marriage and finding his feet as a newly single gay man.

Following up on his landmark collection Hold Me Tight, Jason Schneiderman extends his personal and historical explorations in Self Portrait of Icarus as a Country on Fire. Schneiderman’s signature sense of humor works as a connective tissue across the book, even as the juxtapositions become more unlikely (Kafka and Hillary Clinton?), the historical scope becomes wider, and the personal revelations cut deeper than ever before. These poems represent Schneiderman’s most direct and explicit exploration of Jewish heritage and history, bringing to the surface a theme that has often been missed in his work. The strength of these poems is in their power to trace the wound as a form of healing, to confront the agonizing in order to make way for joy and, yes, love.


“Few poets can match Schneiderman’s sprawling imaginative powers or the vastness of feeling he puts forth in his poems, qualities that can be found in abundance in this extraordinary book. From clickbait to heartbreak to a national march toward fascism, these poems interrogate their materials with wit, rage, and tenderness—while always, somehow, reaching toward love.”

Matthew Olzmann, author of Constellation Route

Jason Schneiderman’s Self Portrait of Icarus as a Country on Fire is replete with quirky poems about nearly everything—including divorce, embalming, and cooking—but mostly, the collection is peopled, so to speak, with stories. There is the one with “the intoxicating” hot wax on one’s skin. The one where a cabbie drives to the right address but in the wrong borough. The one where you have “a fake passport to escape Czarist Russia” and the one about “living a hypothetical life.” Revel in Schneiderman’s latest wonder-full collection! 

Kimiko Hahn, author of Foreign Bodies

“Schneiderman is one of our nation’s best poets and Self Portrait as Icarus as a Country on Fire may be his finest book yet. Dangerously free, these poems are finely wrought and unfettered powerhouses. Each poem holds a vigilant clarity and a fearsome passion that astounds.”

Ada Limón, poet laureate of the United States

Jason Schneiderman ( Author Website )

Publication Date: August 13, 2024

$16.95 Tradepaper

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ISBN: 978-1-63628-162-9