Synopses & Reviews
Aswirl with waking dreams and phantom memories, The Late Parade
is a triumph of poetic imagination. To write about one thing, you must first write about another
. In Adam Fitzgerald's debut collection, readers discover forty-eight poems that yoke together tones playful and elegiac, nostalgic and absurd. Fitzgerald's shape-shifting inspirations "beckon us to join an urban promenade" (McLane) with a multiplicity of chimerical stops: from the unreal cities of Dubai to the former Soviet Union, from Nigerian spammers and the Virgin Mary to Dr. Johnson and Cat Power.
"The glory of this volume is the long title poem, which carries the primal vision of Hart Crane into a future that does not surrender the young poet’s love of the real," writes Harold Bloom. Mash-ups of litanies, monologues and odes, these poems spring from a modernist landscape filled with madcap slips of tongue, innuendo, archaisms and everyday slang. Though Fitzgerald's lines often hallucinate meanings that feel open-ended, they never ignore the traditional pleasures of poetic craft and memory, their music an ambient drone — part Technicolor, part nitrous oxide.
Even so, what glues these fantasies together is more than the charm of the maddeningly chameleon rhetoric. Fitzgerald's sonorous voice is unabashedly that of a love poet's: melancholic, baroque and visionary. The Late Parade is a testament to the powers of confusion, which may disguise our sense of loss but offer in return that eloquent tonic known as poetry. As Richard Howard writes, "When the new poet turns up the heat, he gives us just the necessary outrages which make us understand what we never knew we could say."
"Busy, ornate and elaborate, evasive in their sense, yet charged with emotion, the poems of Fitzgerald's debut could get quick attention: 'If my markings were a liberal-minded act/ in this splooge of too-mobled monuments,/ they'd first have to convene at a hospital amphitheatre,' he announces in a poem with a provocative opening: 'I didn't always have this douchebag haircut.' The hyper-contemporary language may seem to ride in Michael Robbins's tailwind, and yet Fitzgerald's other modes come off less ironic than erotic, urgent, crowded with declarations, anxious for love, intensely aware of poetry's past. 'Quatrains, peaches and rivers had once/ been the clock of his invariable hours,' one quatrain begins, and even a poem with the unpromising title 'Nigerian Spammer' pauses for unlikely welcomes: 'Come, friend, zoomorphic as you are,/ Kind to ruins, casually enclosed in space.' Fitzgerald tries almost too hard to remain in and of his own time, and yet his gestures point back to such earlier urban Romantics as Hart Crane (indeed, Fitzgerald runs the @HartCrane Twitter feed). Detractors may wonder how much new substance there is behind Fitzgerald's surfaces; partisans who may compare him to Crane, or even to David Foster Wallace will accept his invitations: 'Creep through this room in a dirty gondola// with chimes under level-headed clouds:/ that's enough, facetiousness aside.' (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"In , Adam Fitzgerald is a master of defeating expectations so as to fulfill them farther along. One has the feeling of climbing higher along a path that is giving way under one's feet, in pursuit always of 'a waltz on our breath.' Yet the rhythmic and consonant commotion of these poems ends in joy. This is a dazzling debut." New York Times Book Review
"Adam Fitzgerald joins an estimable line--a parade?--from Crane to Ashbery to Donnelly. Fitzgerald is truly 'a noble rider' of 'the sound of words,' to invoke Stevens. We confront here a surging ocean of sound and language, but also a sharp mind, ascetic, even astringent." John Ashbery
"Adam Fitzgerald's is wildly alive with the grit and glue of broken objects and the noise of lost things. You can count on the immense care he takes in putting music back into the world. You can count on the fact this is a book we will read for years to come." John Ashbery
"Released from the plod of workaday logics and handed over to the flow of their own becoming, the poems in shudder with exhilarating assurance and nonstop invention, never fully breaking it off with the familiar, but incapable of leaving it untransformed. We've been waiting too long for a book like this to arrive. Wake up--it's finally here." Dorothea Lasky
" by Adam Fitzgerald may be the beginning of a great career." Timothy Donnelly
"Fitzgerald's voice is a new and welcome sound in the aviary of contemporary poetry... His is a third way, a poetry that is neither sealed off from human ears nor bent solely on pleasing them. In a word, his poems are drunk on both word and allusion and are therefore doubly tipsy... The result is a poetry as lush as any of Keat's odes, as textured as a corridor in the Louvre... No wonder this was the first debut collection acquired by W.W. Norton's resurrected Liveright division, which helped define modernism in America in the 1920s... Reading 'The Late Parade' wasn't like listening to a mountain speak. It was more like listening to the earth laugh." David Kirby
The first collection of poetry from the newly relaunched Liveright imprint.
Adam Fitzgerald “is a born poet whose extraordinary gift for phrasing, music, and verbal invention distinguish him from any young poet I know writing today,” writes Mark Strand about the twenty-nine-year-old American newcomer who follows “in the line of Arthur Rimbaud, Wallace Stevens, and John Ashbery” (Maureen McLane). Fitzgerald, whose title poem “carries the primal vision of Hart Crane into a future that does not surrender the young poet’s love of the real” (Harold Bloom), has already published in the Boston Review, A Public Space, Conjunctions, and the Brooklyn Rail and has become a poetic lightning rod in the East Village and other avant-garde settings. Here, in The Late Parade, he presents 48 poems that “fire dance around meaning itself” (Boston Review) yet help to redefine the modernist vision for the twenty-first-century with near-demonic displays of sonorous density and manic verbal fertility. This dazzling debut collection will be sure to “cause a commotion” (Tim Donnelly).
A debut collection that welcomes a new modernist aesthetic for the twenty-first century.
Aswirl with waking dreams and phantom memories, is a triumph of poetic imagination. . In Adam Fitzgerald's debut collection, readers discover forty-eight poems that yoke together tones playful and elegiac, nostalgic and absurd. Fitzgerald's shape-shifting inspirations "beckon us to join an urban promenade" (McLane) with a multiplicity of chimerical stops: from the unreal cities of Dubai to the former Soviet Union, from Nigerian spammers and the Virgin Mary to Dr. Johnson and Cat Power.
About the Author
Adam Fitzgerald lives in New York City and is the founding editor of the poetry journal Maggy and the artisan press Monk Books. A Columbia University MFA graduate in poetry, he teaches at Rutgers University and The New School.