Selected Poems: 1962-1986
Edited by Clark Coolidge & Larry Fagin
Introduction by Bill Berkson
Clark Coolidge is a revered figure in the world of American and world experimental poetry, with much of such writing of the last 50 years seeming a footnote to or at best elaboration on his most radical reaches. Reading Coolidge's work is to "come back, this time enclosed, trim in paper. Plain sky part of sewn perimeters. Gurries and wobblances. The handtorch shows the tune its rock to turn." This Selected Poems will be how Coolidge's revolutionary early works will be read for generations to come. Lyn Hejinian writes, "Reading through the still incredible work collected in this exemplary Selected Poems, I marvel all over again at the force of even the 'smallest' of Clark Coolidge’s poems. Coolidge’s sonic expertise has often been noted, and music—especially bebop and what has followed it—clearly has suggested to him ways to generate rhythmic clusters, to ride accelerations, to invent scales. No other poet ever has so exquisitely, and sometimes also turbulently, written sheer sonic wonder into poetry." This volume includes an introduction by Bill Berkson, entitled "The Spools of Clark Coolidge," recounting Coolidge's coming up and influences as well as eloquently expressing the visionary nature of his poetic enterprise.