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The Black Riviera
Mark Jarman

Wesleyan Poetry Series

1990 • 64 pp. 5 1/2 x 8"

$14.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-1172-0
$11.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7259-2

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

“Mark Jarman’s new collection is one of the best examples of the new narrative’s powers and techniques…Each superb narrative seduces us into a story and then, when we are caught, leads us through levels of perception until we realize that we are always part of what we hear.”The Hudson Review

Bold narrative poems that recreate the past.

Yet, these are ultimately poems of survival. Jarman explores the redemptive power of the imagination and the ways in which we transform experience into stories we tell about our lives. His characters vividly express the will to cling to existence and understand it as they pursue the meaning of family, home, identity, and love. Invented memories resurrect a forgotten past, opening doors of possibility and adding a strange richness to everyday life. “Flowers of the flesh,/ Hung on the cliffs to watch and be watched./ Don’t let me see reproach, don’t let me see it,/ In your eyes. Let me be the only one/ Who knows and tells you.”

Reviews / Endorsements

“Jarman…weaves a spell of stories only half remembered, an understated intirigue slowly gathering intensity.”Virginia Quarterly Review

“Mark Jarman is… one of the most thoughtful and adroit poets writing these days, a man with handsome ambitions.”The Georgia Review

“Jarman is a poet in whose work intelligence is as important, obvious, and strong as emotion.”Booklist

“The poems both tell fascinating stories and meditate passionately on the nature of storytelling. The range of these poems–geographically, emotionally, poetically–is astonishing” —Andrew Hudgins, winner of Poets’ Prize.

“Mark Jarman’s tales have always been told with resonance, authority, lyric grace, and an almost-Chevokian sympathy for their characters. The Black Riviera is his finest book yet, the sort of volume that can win back for poetry many of the readers it has lost in recent years. Jarman is, simply, one of our best.”David Wojahn


Winner of the The Poets’ Prize (1990)

The many places in which MARK JARMAN has lived have become settings for his poetry—from Santa Maria and Redondo Beach, California to Kirkcaldy, Scotland, where his minister father served parishes, to the American Midwest and Italy, where he has studied and worked.

Jarman is associate professor of English at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and has directed Vanderilt’s program at the University of Leeds in England. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz (B.A. 1974) and the University of Iowa (M.F.A. 1976), he is the author of five other books of poetry, North Sea, The Rote Walker, Far and Away, Iris, and Tonight is the Night of the Prom. Jarman is also coeditor of the literary journal The Reaper. He has received a Joseph Henry Jackson award, an academy of American Poets prize, the Poets’ Prize, a Guggenheim, and three NEA grants, including one in 1983 in support of the poems written for this book.

Fri, 2 Mar 2018 13:22:20 -0500