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What It Is Like: New and Selected Poems
     

What It Is Like: New and Selected Poems

by Charles North
 

"Charles North is the master of multitasking—all experience opens to him at every moment—as well as the master tout court . He belongs on the summit of the American Parnassus."—Harry Mathews

"North is a younger compatriot of O'Hara and Ashbery, and his nonchalance aspiring to greatness finds the same 'risks inside art' that other poets found

Overview

"Charles North is the master of multitasking—all experience opens to him at every moment—as well as the master tout court . He belongs on the summit of the American Parnassus."—Harry Mathews

"North is a younger compatriot of O'Hara and Ashbery, and his nonchalance aspiring to greatness finds the same 'risks inside art' that other poets found in the city. Juggling a satiric self-consciousness with a 'strange mischief,' North pulls death-defying propositions and playful mockeries from thin air."— Publishers Weekly

"The business of examining exactly what one means is central to North's concept of the role of the poet, and he is especially alert to the way particulars and ideas interact in our constructions of meaning. The urge to hold out 'particulars' to the reader is mediated through an alert, sophisticated consciousness insistently aware of convention and genre."—Mark Ford

"The challenge of writing about the sensual qualities of New York City which seems so tired, by North's pen becomes transcendent again. And that's only one of the things his poetry accomplishes. He is witty when wit seems all but lost, gorgeous when gorgeousness is supposed to have crawled off to wherever Frank O'Hara's odes come from."—Ange Mlinko

Charles North 's poetry has received high praise from a wide variety of aesthetic camps. Among his awards are a Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant, two National Endowment for the Arts grants, four Fund for Poetry Awards, and a Poets Foundation Award.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Spanning 37 years of this New York School magpie’s chatty and avant-garde work, this retrospective collection showcases the darting imagination and playfulness that have become the hallmarks of his poetry. Prose poems like “The Philosophy of New Jersey” and “Note on Fog” shine with clarity in North’s most iconic book, 2001’s The Nearness of the Way You Look Tonight, where his longer poems reveal the intricate unfolding of his mind in real time: “I’m thinking of a noun,/ any noun. I picture it/ as hard rubber, darkly resinous/ the same family, roughly speaking, as Being-in-Itself.” Among the new poems, North makes some of his funniest, strangest, and most poignant statements when defending his art—”Erections are hard,” he writes in the sweet and clever “Poem Beginning with an Early Poem,” “Poetry is difficult.” Still, North’s fixation on playing the lithe and spritely prankster can render certain of his poems flippant when they don’t deepen beyond the language on their surfaces. “Suppose the impossible,” he begins in “Nocturnes,” “that the peeing were the romantic part, and the screwing made everybody leave the room.” North stakes his claim as a poet for whom language is the romantic part. (Jan.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933527482
Publisher:
Turtle Point Press
Publication date:
08/23/2011
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author


Charles North is Poet-in-Residence at Pace University. His work has appeared in twelve collections and his prizes include two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, the painter Paula North. They have two grown children.

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