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Fast Animal

Overview

2012 National Book Award Finalist in Poetry

“Crisply comic,disarmingly frank, and aurally bold …”
—Publishers Weekly

This collection by African American poet Tim Seibles explores a range of poetic form, including lyric, ode, narrative, and mystical. Like a "fast animal," the poet's voice can swiftly change direction and tone as he crisscrosses between present and past.

“Built like one single sustained song, ...

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Overview

2012 National Book Award Finalist in Poetry

“Crisply comic,disarmingly frank, and aurally bold …”
—Publishers Weekly

This collection by African American poet Tim Seibles explores a range of poetic form, including lyric, ode, narrative, and mystical. Like a "fast animal," the poet's voice can swiftly change direction and tone as he crisscrosses between present and past.

“Built like one single sustained song, Fast Animal is alive with music, ardor, and wit that flow in utterances that are uniquely [Seibles'] and his alone."—Laure-Anne Bosselaar, author of The Hour Between

From "Delores Jepps"

It seems insane now, but she’d be standing soaked in schoolday morning light,
her loose-leaf notebook,
flickering at the bus stop,
and we almost trembled

at the thought of her mouth filled for a moment with both of our short names. I don’t know what we saw when we saw her face, but at fifteen there’s so much left to believe in…

Tim Seibles, who teaches at Old Dominion University, is the author of six previous books, including Body Moves and Hurdy-Gurdy. His poetry has been featured in Best American Poetry 2010. Seibles has been the recipient of an NEA grant for poetry and Open Voice award.

2012 National Book Award Finalist for Poetry

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Crisply comic, disarmingly frank, and aurally bold, the sharpest poems in this seventh volume from Seibles (Hammerlock) set their emotional honesty in concisely unpredictable free verse. Many concern straight boys and young men in love: poems named for childhood friends, for a middle school beauty, for high school girlfriends, shuttle between a sunlit puppy love and a sadder reflection on men and women, want and need. In “Alison Wolff,” the African-American Seibles and his teenage pals “wondered what white girls were/ really like, as if they’d been raised/ by the freckled light of the moon.” In “Donna James,” sex itself is “a kind of/ miracle,” but not quite a surprise. These tender poems reach back decades for their realism (Seibles grew up in the 1950s and 1960s). Along with them come poems of popular culture, fantasy, and contemporary life in the person of the superhero Blade, an African-American vampire hunter who is half vampire himself: “The first time/ I killed a vampire I was// sad: I mean/ we were almost/ family.” Seibles’s clipped lines owe a lot to Yusef Komunyakaa, and to Robert Creeley, too, as well as to his own warm, reflective powers, making his poems on teenage preoccupations ultimately serious, wry, likable, and paradoxically adult. (Feb.)
From the Publisher

“Tim Seibles chronicles his evolution from innocence to adulthood in Fast Animal…[E]ach experience is keenly observed and shapes his growing sense of identity and an exquisite awareness of the things all humans share.”
—Elizabeth Lund, The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780983294429
  • Publisher: Etruscan Press
  • Publication date: 2/7/2012
  • Pages: 72
  • Sales rank: 283,645
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Tim Seibles is an American poet born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He earned his BA from Southern Methodist University and his MFA from Vermont College. Currently he teaches English and creative writing at Old Dominion University in Virginia. He also teaches in the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing, and at Cave Canem Foundation.

Seibles received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and was honored with the Open Voice Award.

His poems have been published in literary journals and anthologies such as The Kenyon Review and Ploughshares, and New American Poets in the 90's.

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