Imagining Paradise: New and Selected Poems
Published in the New Yorker, La Nouvelle Revue Franaise, and in nearly a hundred magazines and poetry journals from Los Angeles to Tokyo, from Lawrence, Kansas to Rome, Madrid, Paris, London, Beijing and Bucharest, poems by Barry Gifford have been describing and changing our world for nearly half a century. Here in one volume for the first time is the poet's own choices from his nine previous collections, as well as a rich selection of new poems. Altogether, Imagining Paradise represents the tremendous achievement of an underground poet who lasted.These poems describe a universe that is as populous and diverse as it is ephemeral and evanescent. They are born of the world and of books and art in equal measure, and tell of the unyielding granite truths of people's roller-coaster lives. And always there is the poet looking back, facing life and death and everything in between with equanimity, holding a steady hand to the quivering breast wherever there is breath.
"These poems are like zen dominoes: no matter how shuffled, they always seem to come out right." —Booklist
"At his best, Gifford recalls William Carlos Williams: particular, lyrical but laconic, compassionate but unsentimental." —Publishers Weekly
"Barry Gifford's pure lyrical self shines in these poems." —Andrei Codrescu
About Barry Gifford
The author of more than forty published works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, which have been translated into twenty-eight languages, BARRY GIFFORD began as a poet and musician. His most recent prose works are Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels, Sad Stories of the Death of Kings, and Memories from a Sinking Ship: A Novel. His previous most recent poetry collection is Las cuatro reinas / The Four Queens, released in 2006. Gifford lives in the San Francisco area and maintains a website at www.barrygifford.com.