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We Can’t Wait for 2014: Selected Letters of Robert Creeley is on the Way!

By Harriet Staff


We’re already saving up for The Selected Letters of Robert Creeley, edited by Rod Smith, Peter Baker, and Kaplan Harris, to-be-published by UC Press. It’s due in January 2014, to be precise. A first announcement was made this weekend and there’s already a page set aside on the UC Press website, about the book. The book’s description goes a little something like this:

Robert Creeley is one of the most celebrated and influential American poets. A stylist of the highest order, Creeley imbued his correspondence with the literary artistry he brought to his poetry. Through his engagements with mentors such as William Carlos Williams and Ezra Pound, peers such as Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Denise Levertov, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac, and mentees such as Charles Bernstein, Anselm Berrigan, Ed Dorn, Susan Howe, and Tom Raworth, Creeley helped forge a new poetry that re-imagined writing for his and subsequent generations. This first-ever volume of his letters, written between 1945 and 2005, document the life, work, and times of one of our greatest writers, and represent a critical archive of the development of contemporary American poetry, as well as the changing nature of letter-writing and communication in the digital era.

As Charles Bernstein writes:

Along with his poetic hero, William Carlos Williams, Robert Creeley is the great 20th century American poet of the everyday. In these letters, beautifully and meticulously edited and annotated, we get to the see Creeley’s daily life and thoughts up-close, informal, familial, immediate, generous, grieved, stuffed to the brim with poetic insights. These letters show Creeley as exemplary in his support of younger poets who rejected a poetics of complacency that reins now, as it did in his time. They reveal how he championed the radical modernists of the generation before him. And most important, they place him in the company of those of his own generation in their successful transformation of postwar poetic thinking. ‘There is nothing that does not yield its beauty to that sight, not one human term that will not come true there.’

Pinch thy pennies and rock onward, courtesy UC Press.

And for those who can’t wait until 2014, our very own Poetry magazine will be running a sample of Creeley’s letters in October. Check back for that one!

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Posted in Poetry News on Monday, July 29th, 2013 by Harriet Staff.