Spencer Short's Tremolo is a winner of the 2000 National Poetry Series Open Competition, selected by US Poet Laureate Billy Collins. For nearly twenty years, the National Poetry Series has discovered many new and emerging voices and has been instrumental in launching the careers of poets and writers such as Billy Collins, Mark Doty, Denis Johnson, Thylias Moss, Mark Levine, and Dionisio Martinez.
About the Author
Spencer Short, a graduate of James Madison University, received his M.F.A. at the University of Michigan, where he was awarded both the Hopwood Award and the Cowden Fellowship. A Maytag Fellow and a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he has also won an Academy of American Poets Award. Spencer Short has worked as a lecturer, a wine steward, a bouncer, a bartender, a copy editor, on a keg truck, and at London's Globe Theatre project. He lives in Iowa City.
Read an Excerpt
I Am Cinematographer
Clouds rally like cattle along the horizon.
From my window I can see the entire apparatus: the wheels,
the levers & wires. The pulleys.
Angels sleep in the luminous bedclothes of those
of us who believe in angels. Skinny, hairless, I resemble the fallen
child stars of each of my different youths.
Like Schoenberg's unplayable String Trio
my heart is reinventing the aesthetic.
My heart is as large as a small mid-western city.
The city is soaking in a glass of water.
It springs open before me like a lock on a box.
It is the lock & it is the box.
It is full of narrow cobblestone streets.
I am a cinematographer. The pulleys. The wires.
From my window I can see the entire apparatus.
One of my legs is not like the other.
It throws everything off.
What People are Saying About This
“Flipping through Tremolo, you immediately confront a prickly stir of humor, philosophy and romantic giddiness; reading this book is something like walking into a kitchen at a party and coming upon a wild charmer you’d never met, mid-gesticulation a terrific storyteller, but also one eager to switch gears mid-sentence, mid-phrase, mid-thought...the perfect panacea: a source of wisdom disguised as a thrill ride.”
“These are buoyant, agile, and often frightened poems poems that would like to outsmart themselves but poignantly, thankfully cannot.”
"An apparent summa cum laude graduate of the New York School of Poetry, Spencer Short writes poems that float on the air of their own ironies.... What a treat to listen to this new voice with its nutty intelligence and strange authority."
“What a treat to listen to this new voice with its nutty intelligence and its strange authority.”
"In Spencer Short's poems, the often mechanical effusions of postmodern style are elevated into symptoms of anxiety and yearning. Technical virtuosity is the means through which questions of emotional adequacy are raised; the intellect, accelerating, bears the weight of spiritual sluggishness; traditional forms are expertly adopted in the hope that they might summon the intervention of a lost authority. These are buoyant, agile, and often frightened poems -- poems that would like to outsmart themselves but -- poignantly, thankfully -- cannot."
“[Tremolo] brings to mind both T.S. Eliot and McSweeney’s....”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I read the exerpt 'I am Cinematographer' and found it delightful in its imagery and continuity.