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The Fortunate Era
Arthur Smith



Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series

Carnegie Mellon University Press
2013 • 72 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Poetry

List $15.95, Web $9.57 Paperback, 978-0-88748-567-1



A collection of poems by Arthur Smith

From the opening poem, we follow a narrator through the loss of an Edenic life and its manifestations, from personal loss to the extinction of species and—looming in the future—the threat of our own extinction. In the process we range from the microscopic to the cosmic, from the worlds of literature, science, culture, politics, and religion.

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Endorsements:

“In his profound new book, Arthur Smith lets us see “. . . the ruins // of our lives burning in the fires, in the rubble, / In the work of living, in my mind.” The source of the book’s title, The Fortunate Era, is the observation of a Nobel Laureate in physics, who said, “We live in the fortunate era . . . in which there is matter.” This peculiar revelatory vision of matter, of our material world, the world that burns in the paradise furnace of Smith’s imagination is as finite and startling as a spider in a blossom, stars, a tiger, a lover—or long-lasting grief. These poems are made of both familiar and elegantly spinning insight, real as rock. The flames bank and re-flare, but what Smith is shoring up for us in the ruins is the pure lyrical restraint of master: these poems re-make the way we see the world, right down to each fiery particle.”—Carol Muske-Dukes



ARTHUR SMITH was born in central California. He has received degrees from San Francisco State University (B.A., M.A.) and from the University of Houston (Ph.D.). His first book of poems, Elegy on Independence Day, was awarded the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and was published in 1985. That same year, it was selected by the Poetry Society of American to receive the Norma Farber First Book Award. His second book of poems, Orders of Affection, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 1996, and his third book, The Late World, was published in 2002, also by Carnegie Mellon University Press. His work has been honored with a “Discovery”/The Nation Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, and he was selected as the Theodore Morrison Fellow in Poetry for the 1987 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He served two terms as an advisory member of the Tennessee Arts Commission Literary Panel, and he is Professor of English at the University of Tennessee. His poems have appeared in numerous journals including The Nation, The New Yorker, Poetry, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, and North American Review.






Sun, 13 Apr 2014 17:14:04 -0500