Charles River

Charles River
Upper Limit Cloud/Lower Limit Sail


"Messianicity is not messianism ... even though this distinction remains fragile and enigmatic." (Jacques Derrida)

Monday, September 1, 2014

SONG X: New and Selected Poems

I'm very pleased to announce the publication of SONG X: New and Selected Poems, just out from Talisman House Publishers. SONG X collects work from seven previous books and chapbooks and one artist's book, co-produced with Charles Alexander and Cynthia Miller and released in a very limited edition. With the earliest poems dating from the mid-90s, SONG X gathers over twenty years of work, much of it in the tradition of the gnostic postmodernist lyric, from books that are either out of print or hard to find. It also includes a generous offering of new poems.

"I hear the motion in these stirring poems as radiant spans of thought, 'the Auto-Graphic gesture of becoming.' A reader will experience the recurrence of a most ancient way of being lost, a world stranger, a visitor here, an X who travels in one long single take. For Pritchett, the word is the sign of a divine spark that must be continually fueled by more thought. Not cinematic: secret. The poems unveil an orange glow behind loneliness, a color beyond erasure." --Fanny Howe

"Patrick Pritchett's Song X takes its title from the classic free jazz album by Pat Metheny and Ornette Coleman. And like the music on that album, Pritchett's poetry seeks to wrest itself from the inherent materiality of its making so that it may achieve an impossibly pure spirit of lyricism. As the poet declares, 'this is the beauty that smites the city,' a visionary assault that comes 'In the asterisk that occludes or names each event.' Song X contains a generous selection from Pritchett's earlier collections, including Burn, his daring 'doxology' on the martyrdom of Joan of Arc, and Gnostic Frequencies, a work that as clearly reveals the antinomian and acosmic impulses that are shaking up contemporary American poetry as any I might name. To read Pritchett is to walk upon 'the ground / that undescribes you.' And that is holy ground." --Norman Finkelstein

"Patrick Pritchett is an exceptional poet. His revelatory Song X is a gift of life and years and gives up many joys and lived private truth. He is not afraid of beauty and its formal intellect in the estate of song. It's great to have this essential gathering of his work, it's a great book." --Peter Gizzi

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