Toward the Distant Islands: New and Selected Poems

Toward the Distant Islands: New and Selected Poems


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Toward the Distant Islands: New and Selected Poems by Hayden Carruth

“Carruth [is] one of the lasting literary signatures of our time.”— Library Journal (starred review)

“Carruth...contains multitudes.”— Booklist (starred review)

“Carruth is a people’s poet... a virtuoso of form.”— The Nation

This “portable Carruth” gathers new poems with the essential works from a major American poet. Included are lyrics, short narratives, comic, meditative, and erotic poems that engage politics, music, rural poverty, and the cultural responsibility of artists. As Sam Hamill writes in the introduction:

“Carruth’s great body of work is a world... Like the jazz he so loves, his poetry ranges from the formal to the spontaneous, from local vernacular to righteous oratory, from beautiful complexity to elegant understatement.”

From “A Few Dilapidated Arias”

“Our crumbling civilization”–a phrase I have used often during recent years, in letters to friends, even in words for public print. And what does it mean? Can
a civilization crumble? At once appears the image of an old slice of bread, stale and hard, green with mold,
shaped roughly like the northeastern United States, years old or more, so hard and foul that even my pal Maxie,
the shepherd/husky cross who eats everything, won’t touch it. And it is crumbling, turning literally into crumbs, as the millions of infinitesimal internal connecting fibers sever and loosen. The dust trickles and seeps away.

Hayden Carruth , a longtime resident of Vermont, currently lives in upstate New York, where he taught at Syracuse University. His many honors include the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781556592362
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Publication date: 04/01/2006
Pages: 150
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Hayden Carruth is the author of twenty-five books of poetry, a novel, four books of criticism, and two anthologies, and has held fellowships from the Bollingen, Guggenheim and Lannan foundations, as well as the NEA. His many awards include the National Book Award for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Lenore Marshall/The Nation Award. Poet and translator Sam Hamill was the Founding Editor of Copper Canyon Press and is currently the Director for Poets Against War.

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