2002 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry
Synopses & Reviews
B. H. Fairchild's memory systems are the collective vision of America's despairing dreamers failed baseball players, oil field laborers, a surrealist priest, college boys at a burlesque theater, a psychic who foresees her own death, a drunken welder, and the last remaining cast members of The Wizard of Oz. This collection journeys through the intersections of imagination and history across the plains of the Midwest, culminating in a final sweeping prose poem, "The Memory Palace," a requiem for the poet's people and the small machine shop in Kansas that sustained them. Looming over all is the fact and the mystery of our continued renewal.
"If strong emotion courses through Fairchild's work, it never makes it lachrymose, thanks to concrete vocabulary and images, direct syntax, and propulsive rhythms. Poetry book of the year?" Booklist, starred review
"There is no more lyric celebration of America's grandeurs and desolationsnot regarded here as separate facets of our lives and landscapes, but as completely fused in our hopes and despairsthan this superb collection of poems. Mr. Fairchild here surpasses himself in his unflinching vision and exaltation of spirit. These poems do honor to our country, and should rank with the best of our poetry." Anthony Hecht
B. H. Fairchild's memory systems are the collective vision of America's despairing dreamers; failed baseball players, oil field laborers, a surrealist priest, college boys at a burlesque theater, the last remaining cast members of . Looming over all is the fact and the mystery of our continued renewal.
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.
About the Author
B. H. Fairchild, the author of several acclaimed poetry collections and a recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, has been a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the William Carlos Williams Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Bobbitt National Prize. He teaches in the creative writing PhD program at the University of North Texas.