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Country Music

by Charles Wright David St. John

Co-winner of the 1983 National Book Award for Poetry, Country Music is comprised of eighty-eight poems selected from Charles Wright's first four books published between 1970 and 1977. From his first book, The Grave of the Right Hand, to the extraordinary China Trace, this selection of early works represents "Charles Wright's grand passions: his desire to reclaim and redeem a personal past, to make a reckoning with his present, and to conjure the terms by which we might face the future," writes David St. John in the forward. These poems, powerful and moving in their own right, lend richness and insight to Wright's recently collected later works. "In Country Music we see the same explosive imagery, the same dismantled and concentric (or parallel) narratives, the same resolutely spiritual concerns that have become so familiar to us in Wright's more recent poetry," writes St. John.

The Face

by David St. John

A haunting and inventive book length sequence of poems from the distinguished author of Study for the World's Body. The Face is both fiercely lyrical and intimately conversational. Coming to terms with the failure of a great love, the speaker descends into his own dark night of the soul. Here are poems that explore the drama of the shattered self in a variety of voices, calling on memory to speak and imagination to make beauty from the shards. Slowly, the speaker reassembles his life and again finds faith in himself and the world. These poems reveal a swirling cinematic poetry of visionary scope; meditative and confessional in some moments, ironic and playful in others. Deeply passionate and raw in its candour, The Face may be for this generation of poets what Lowell's Life Studies and Ashbery's Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror were.

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