The New York Times
Complete Minimal Poemsby Aram Saroyan
Long cherished in out-of-print editions, anthologies and textbooks, and more recently celebrated on the internet, the groundbreaking Concrete and Minimalist poems of Aram Saroyan (born 1943) are gathered together here in a single, much-needed volume. Working in the 1960s among the so-called Second Generation New York School of poetry and the international Concrete poetry movement, but also informed by Conceptual art, Saroyan brought an intense focus to the sensuality of words--often single words--highlighting their material strangeness. Among the most popular of these poems are the infamous "lighght" (singled out by Senator Jesse Helms, who publicly lambasted the poem when its author received an NEA award), "eyeye," and his four-legged letter "m." "Even a five-word poem has a beginning, middle and end," Saroyan once stated; "A one-word poem doesn’t. You can see it all at once. It’s instant." Complete Minimal Poems reissues the entirety of Saroyan’s rare collections Aram Saroyan, Pages and The Rest for the first time, as well as his well-known "Electric Poems" (originally published in the 1972 All Stars anthology) and the previously unpublished sequence "Short Poems." The first edition of Complete Minimal Poems was published in 2007, receiving praise in The New York Times and winning the 2008 William Carlos Williams Award. This reprint of that edition includes a new preface by Ron Silliman.
The New York Times
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Meet the Author
Aram Saroyan is an internationally known poet, novelist, biographer, memoirist and playwright. His poetry has been widely anthologized and appears in many textbooks. Among the collections of his poetry are Aram Saroyan and Pages (both Random House). His largest collection, Day and Night: Bolinas Poems, was published by Black Sparrow Press in 1999. Saroyan's prose books include Genesis Angels: The Saga of Lew Welch and the Beat Generation; Last Rites, a book about the death of his father, the playwright and short story writer William Saroyan; Trio: Portrait of an Intimate Friendship; The Romantic, a novel that was a Los Angeles Times Book Review Critics' Choice selection; a memoir, Friends in the World: The Education of a Writer; and the true crime Literary Guild selection Rancho Mirage: An American Tragedy of Manners, Madness and Murder. Selected essays, Starting Out in the Sixties, appeared in 2001, and Artists in Trouble: New Stories in early 2002.
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