Spencer Selby

b. 1947

Born and raised in the Midwest, poet and artist Spencer Selby was educated at the University of Iowa. His experimental and visual poems are concerned with beauty, structure, and utility. Reviewing Selby’s poems for Slope, Amaranth Borsuk observed: “Their shifting ‘terrain of fabric’ is an open weave pierced with losses predicated by war and consumerism.… Selby's language remains rich and elusive, twisting both toward and away from the reader in a complex montage.”

Selby is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Twist of Address (2007), Task (1999), and Instar (1989). He also wrote the nonfiction reference guide Dark City: The Film Noir (1984). His work has been included in the anthologies Word Score Utterance Choreography (1998), Primary Trouble: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (1996), and The Art of Practice: Forty-Five Contemporary Poets (1994).

Selby founded SINK Press in San Francisco in the early 1980s, organized the Canessa Park Reading Series from 1987 to 1993, and has served as coeditor of the visual poetry magazine Score. Since 1993, he has maintained “The List of Experimental Poetry/Art Magazines,” which he updates online at www.selbyslist.com. He lives in Oakland, California.

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Poet Categorization

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

LIFE SPAN 1947–

Biography

Born and raised in the Midwest, poet and artist Spencer Selby was educated at the University of Iowa. His experimental and visual poems are concerned with beauty, structure, and utility. Reviewing Selby’s poems for Slope, Amaranth Borsuk observed: “Their shifting ‘terrain of fabric’ is an open weave pierced with losses predicated by war and consumerism.… Selby's language remains rich and elusive, twisting both toward and away . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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