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Collected Poems
Joseph Ceravolo; Rosemary Ceravolo, ed.; Parker Smathers, ed.; David Lehman, intro.

Wesleyan Poetry Series

2013 • 596
pp. 6 illus. 6 x 9 1/4"

$27.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-7526-5
$35.00 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-7341-4

$21.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7342-1

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

Long awaited collection of a singular American poet

Like an underground river, the astonishing poems of Joseph Ceravolo have nurtured American poetry for fifty years, a presence deeply felt but largely invisible. Collected Poems offers the first full portrait of Ceravolo’s aesthetic trajectory, bringing to light the highly original voice that was operating at an increasing remove from the currents of the time. From a poetics associated with Frank O’Hara and John Ashbery to an ever more contemplative, deeply visionary poetics similar in sensibility to Zen and Dante, William Blake and St. John of the Cross, this collection shows how Ceravolo’s poetry takes on a direct, quiet lyricism: intensely dedicated to the natural and spiritual life of the individual. As Ron Silliman notes, Ceravolo’s later work reveals him to be “one of the most emotionally open, vulnerable and self-knowing poets of his generation.” Many new pieces, including the masterful long poem “The Hellgate,” are published here for the first time. This volume is a landmark edition for American poetry, and includes an introduction by David Lehman.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

From the Book:


The hawks float over us
two next to each other
hunting us all day
to tell us we live and breathe
the harsh woods,

and the deer scent pervades
justice, honor, freedom
in that sacred spot inside.

The hawks on the air
we on the sphagnum
of this bog in
reforming the earth.

We stop, we stalk
the ancient trail in the rain.
The flap of wings,
the song inside mixing
with our heated eyes
and insides. The hawk

like Hermes follows us.
It is everywhere, it is nowhere
follows our inside eyes
follows beyond solar winds
beyond golden shadows of death
to a common eternity.

—from Mad Angels

JOSEPH CERAVOLO (1934–1988) was a poet and civil engineer who was born in Astoria, Queens, and lived in New Jersey. He was the author of six books of poetry and won the first Frank O’Hara Award. ROSEMARY CERAVOLO is an artist, novelist, and art critic. She lives in Bloomfield, New Jersey. PARKER SMATHERS is a poet and editor at Wesleyan University Press. DAVID LEHMAN is a poet and the series editor for The Best American Poetry series. He teaches at The New School.

Publication of this book is funded by the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
National Endowment for the Arts
This project is supported in part by an award from the
National Endowment for the Arts

Tue, 6 Dec 2016 14:05:24 -0500