Tournament of Books 2015

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | January 5, 2015

    Frances E. Jensen: IMG What You Don't Know about the Teenage Brain

    Things were changing in our household: the teen years had intruded into our otherwise harmonious, do-as-mom-tells-you relatively orderly world. As... Continue »

Qualifying orders ship free.
List price: $19.95
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
1 Remote Warehouse Anthologies- Essays

Active Boundaries: Selected Essays and Talks


Active Boundaries: Selected Essays and Talks Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A poet's prosebook, a hymn to the art of the word, here is the first collection of essays/talks to be published by "one of America's most important poets" (Harvard Review), winner of the Wallace Stevens Award for Mastery in the Art of Poetry.

A lifetime engagement with poetry radiates from every page of this distinguished collection of essays and talks that span forty years of a poet's life. Active Boundaries by Michael Palmer offers readers an intimate glimpse into the poetry behind the poetry that, as Robert Creeley once noted, "makes possible a place where words initially engage their meanings—as if missing the edge of all 'creations,' of all 'worlds'." With philosophical grace and conversational ease, Palmer unearths a vanguardist tradition in poetry that permeates languages and cultures, centuries and histories. He investigates an "active boundary" as it relates to a sense of form as well as, Palmer writes, "to a more social sense of poetic activity as it exists in the margins, along the borders and, so to speak, 'underground.'" Meditations on poets such as George Oppen, Paul Celan, Octavio Paz, Shelley, and Dante rise to the forefront among a multitude of other voices, like those of Trinh Minh-ha, Anna Akhmatova, Toru Takemitsu, and Susan Howe. Diaristic entries about his mother on her death bed are interspersed with epiphanic fragments; "Within a Timeless Moment of Barbaric Thought" confronts poetry's relation to memory, war, the War on Terror, contingency, and experience. Pulsing through the heart-lines of Active Boundaries is poetry's renewal.

Book News Annotation:

San Francisco poet Palmer penned these essays and delivered these talks over the course of two and a half decades, from 1981 to 2007. Among them are reflections on Dante's Vita Nuova, Irving Petlin and a language of the unsayable, and objectivism. There is no index. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

Palmer, Michael
New Directions Publishing Corporation
American - General
Single Author / American
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9 x 6 in

Other books you might like

  1. Vertigo (National Poetry Series Books) Used Trade Paper $10.50

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Active Boundaries: Selected Essays and Talks New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.75 In Stock
Product details 294 pages New Directions Publishing Corporation - English 9780811217545 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at