From the Publisher
“Albert Goldbarth is a poet of remarkable gifts--a dazzling virtuoso who can break your heart.” Joyce Carol Oates
“Albert Goldbarth just may be the American poet of his generation for the ages. Often humorous but always serious, Goldbarth combines erudite research, pop-culture fanaticism, and personal anecdote in ways that make his writings among the most stylistically recognizable in the literary world.” Judith Kitchen, The Georgia Review
“In thirty-five years of writing, Albert Goldbarth has amassed a body of work as substantial and intelligent as that of anyone in his generation.” William Doreski, The Harvard Review
Goldbarth's ample output, frequently comic effects, reader-friendly free verse and almost dauntingly omnivorous reference-from Roman history to cardiology to 1950s science fiction-have slowed down what might otherwise be the widespread acknowledgment of an American master: that has started to change (he won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2002) and might change further with this 25th book of verse. Here is "my shtick/ and my stump-speech exhortation to you, delivered in spittle/ and neural knot-ways," part of a seven-page poem that advises, again and again, "Keep a dream journal." Elsewhere is a five-part poem that seeks, through facts from William Carlos Williams's biography, modern cosmology and 19th-century typesetting, the mysteries of "whatever/ you call it, animus, or consciousness-the 'soul.'A " The sciences, "The Writing Life" and "Everything" make repeated appearances in Goldbarth's fast-paced lines. Yet for all his oddball flights, all his "waggly buggish-visaged aliens" and the like, Goldbarth returns, most of the time, to first and last things-to why some marriages (his own, for example) last: to how we deal with parents and friends who fall ill; to how we get all we can, and more than we know, out of life and out of death. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.