The Los Angeles Times praises Carruth the farmer.
The Concord Monitor says, "No poet knew the hardships of northern New England as personally as Hayden Carruth."
Paste Magazine praises Carruth's jazz vernacular.
Vermont Public Radio claims Carruth for the Northeast Kingdom.
'Why don't you write a poem that will prepare me for your death?"
The New York Times calls Carruth "one of the most wide-ranging and intellectually ambitious poets of his generation."
The Washington Post praises Carruth's work "from the grandly formal to the bluntly vernacular."
"Everything Billy Collins claims to be, Carruth actually was," says Paul Constant.
A jazz tribute to Carruth in Vermont.
Remembering Carruth remembering Ray.

Originally Published: October 3rd, 2008

Travis Nichols is the author of two books of poetry: Iowa (2010, Letter Machine Editions) and See Me Improving (2010); and he is the author of two novels: Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder (2012) and The More You Ignore Me (2013). He has contributed to The Believer, Paste, The...

  1. October 3, 2008
     bill knott

    "Everything Billy Collins claims to be, Carruth actually was," says Paul Constant–––
    . . . this is pathetic: is this the way to eulogize a poet,
    by insulting another poet?
    I don't know that Collins himself "claims to be" anything, for that matter
    it's readers like me who claim or exclaim Collins is
    a great poet–––

  2. October 5, 2008

    Good God, what does it say about poetry when the antics mentioned in the post above this one generate so many comments while the passing of Carruth–always extremely generous and pluralistic his writing, so much of which was given over to discussion of the work of others–makes so small of an electronic splash? Is poetry really this solipsistic? Um, maybe don’t answer that…

  3. October 5, 2008
     Aaron Fagan

    While folks are all knotted up in a jabberfizzy over that hoax anthology post, I am reminded of the passage below from Carruth's poem "Marvin McCabe":
    . . . It isn't becuase we're a joke, no,
    it's because we think we aren't a joke–that's
    what the whole universe is laughing at. It makes
    no difference if my thoughts are spoken or not,
    or if I live or die–nothing will change.
    How could it? This body is wrong, a misery,
    a misrepresentation, but hell, would talking make
    any difference? The reason nobody knows me
    is because I don't exist. And neither do you.

  4. October 6, 2008

    With all due respect to Carruth, it's not a surprise when an old person dies.

  5. October 6, 2008

    & I guess it’s no surprise that we young folks so love the ones & zeros reflected back to us in our own tiny electronic mirrors, but what about our responsibility to listen before we talk? Oh, right, the age of the internet’s done away with all that. There’s the mouth, the eyes, the nose, and those two other mouths on the left and right side of the head, exactly where one might rest one’s glasses…

  6. October 7, 2008

    Thanks for that wise response. It's much more generous than mine would have been.
    I will say that it is conceivable that one actually can have friendships across generations.
    Biting my tongue before saying any more, I would suggest that readers dip into the following obits to understand why some of us will mourn Carruth's passing: