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Selected Poems
James Tate

Wesleyan Poetry Series

1991 • 250 pp. 5 1/2 x 9"

$19.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-1192-8
$15.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7450-3

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

Not for sale in the British Commonwealth

“…he has the rare ability to be very, very funny on the page…”New York Times Book Review

An award-winning gathering of exquisite poems by a celebrated poet.

The Selected Poems James Tate’s Pulitzer Prize-winning collection and his first British publication, gathers work from nine previous books, from the Lost Pilot which was a Yale Younger Poets selection in 1967, through his 1986 collection Reckoner. He is a most agile poet in a precarious world. Life is alarming and absurd, but properly considered that absurdity reveals, often with laughter, the something else by which we live. The poems are about our world, our wrecked, vexed love for it. Tate has been described as a surrealist. If that is what he is, his surrealism issues in a vision of a world delivered back to itself by his unillusioned subversion and candor.

Reviews / Endorsements

“This volume performs a valuable service by drawing together the best of Tate’s work from many individual collections, some of them now quite rare. It allows us finally to take the measure of his genius: passionate, humane, funny, tragic, and always surprising and mind-delighting. Not unexpectedly, it confirms his standing as one of the finest voices of his generation”—John Ashbery. “A poet of mad wit and stunning anecdote. Tate is now in the fullness of his powers. A volume not to be missed”—Julian Moynahan

“…allows us finally to take the measure of his genius: passionate, humane, funny, tragic, and always surprising and mind-delighting.”John Ashbery

From the Book:

There is so much to be corrected here, / so many scribbles and grumbles, blind premonitions./ How does one interpret, on this late branch, the unexpected?


Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1992)
Winner of the William Carlos Williams Award (1992)
Cited as one of the 100 notable books of 1992 by New York Times Book Review.

JAMES TATE grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. He is the author of The Lost Pilot (1967), The Oblivion Ha-Ha (1970), Hints to Pilgrims (1971), Absences (1972), Viper Jazz (1976), Riven Doggeries (1979), Constant Defenders (1983), and Reckoner (1986). He teaches at the University of Massachusetts and lives in Amherst.

Fri, 6 Jul 2018 13:12:29 -0500