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is the opening poem in a major sequence entitled Universe
. It’s the jumping off point for a work that, were Ron Silliman to live long enough, would take him three centuries to complete. We are hopeful. Universe is a poem of globalization and post-global poetics (an important reason for publishing this key section outside of the USA). At its core, it addresses the problem that there are only two global systems: the biosphere and capital, while every response to these global systems is invariably local. The first appearance of Revelator
in a journal won Poetry’s Levinson prize, previously given to poets such as Robert Creeley, Theodore Roethke, Geoffrey Hill, John Ashbery, Robert Duncan, Basil Bunting, William Carlos Williams, Dylan Thomas, Hart Crane, Robert Frost, and Wallace Stevens.
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Praise for Ron Silliman:
Called a 'thaumaturge' ('wonder-worker') by the poet Robert Duncan, Silliman has created a new kind of writing from the simplest materials.... The poet confides, describes, extols, remarks, puns, paints domestic scenes, slyly alludes, records minutiae, leaps to large statements, arouses, repeats. Through it all, a friendly, northern California sort of personality emerges.
– David Melnick, San Francisco Chronicle
What I find most striking about Silliman's sentences is that they're fun; they give pleasure in many different ways, through their wit, their allusiveness, their visuality, their phonetic texture, their descriptive precision, or their sheer unlikeliness.
– Roger Gilbert, Contemporary Literature
Of all the language poets, Silliman's express-line writing was and is the one that stuck to my ribs. It was so thingy, so specific, so formally radical, so hard- headed, yet witty, and now and then, in spite of itself, lyric. I liked his post-industrial music. I loved ketjak and tjanting and paradise... And the reach - the compulsion to pull everything in.
– C.D. Wright, Jacket
Praise for Revelator
In an age where poets and students of poetry tend to be at best modest and at worst melancholy about what their work can accomplish, Silliman is notable for having persistently and unapologetically pursued projects that are expansive and optimistic in their sense of how poetry can capture our experience of the world.
– Sam Rowe for Full Stop
Silliman's artistic desire to pull everything in, to mark it, to keep it against the threat of global and personal apocalypse, makes this a work of what Martin Hägglund calls "chronolibido": "Poetry engages the desire for a mortal life that can always be lost."
– Jessica Smith, Jacket2
Ron Silliman has written and edited over 30 books, and has had his poetry and criticism translated into 12 languages. He has worked as a political activist, editor, and market analyst. Among his honors, Silliman was a 2012 Kelly Writers House Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, and the 2010 recipient of the Levinson Prize, from the Poetry Foundation. His sculpture poetry (Bury Neon
) is permanently on display in the transit centre of Bury, Lancashire, and he has a plaque in the walk dedicated to poetry in his home town of Berkeley, although he now lives in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
September 2013 | Poetry
6x8 inches | 80 pages
Trade Paper: 9781927040812