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My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer (Wesleyan Poetry)by Jack Spicer
Northern California Independent Booksellers award for poetry 2009
American Book Award 2009
Jack Spicer is a wonderfully bizarre and enigmatic poet, whose work has been out of print for far too long. I particularly love After Lorca, but all of Spicer's work deserves to be read and celebrated.
Synopses & Reviews
In 1965, when the poet Jack Spicer died at the age of forty, he left behind a trunkful of papers and manuscripts and a few copies of the seven small books he had seen to press. A West Coast poet, his influence spanned the national literary scene of the 1950s and '60s, though in many ways Spicer's innovative writing ran counter to that of his contemporaries in the New York School and the West Coast Beat movement. Now, more than forty years later, Spicer's voice is more compelling, insistent, and timely than ever. During his short but prolific life, Spicer troubled the concepts of translation, voice, and the act of poetic composition itself. My Vocabulary Did This to Me is a landmark publication of this essential poet's life work, and includes poems that have become increasingly hard to find and many published here for the first time.
"The first thorough gathering of the poet’s extraordinary and challenging writing to appear since the '70s." Bookforum
"You finish...feeling you’ve come in contact with...a writer who is, to borrow from Wordsworth, 'fierce, moody, patient, venturous, modest, shy'...[and] thinking that these poems are ready to find a new audience." New York Times
"A new generation of editors...moves beyond the Spicer 'legend' in order to present the full range of his poetry to readers both familiar and unfamiliar with his work." Boston Review
About the Author
Jack Spicer (1925-1965) published books including After Lorca (1957), Billy the Kid (1959), and The Holy Grail (1962).
Peter Gizzi is a poet and author of numerous books, including The Outernationale (2007), who lives in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
Kevin Killian is a poet, novelist, critic, and playwright living in San Francisco.
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