Poetry. In Harry Mathews's first collection of poetry in nearly 20 years, a legend of the American avant-garde unveils compelling anomalies including the prose sestina, didactic gastronomy, and a haiku sequence—a diary of discrete (if not so discreet) late-night improvisations on the familiar Japanese three-line form. The central section collects poems of terse lyricism devoted to the unpredictable deviations between intention and desire—the landscape of the new tourism: "Where is it I came from / And where is it I'm stranded? / Part of the maps is black / And the rest's in borrowed language."A Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year in 2011.
Brooks Lampe@ THEthe PoetryAdam Fitzgerald's Books I Loved in 2010@ The Best American PoetryJohn Beer @ The Quarterly Conversation
Born in New York in 1930, Harry Mathews settled in Europe in 1952 and has since then lived in Spain, Germany, Italy, and (chiefly) France. When Mathews published his first poems in 1956, he was associated with the so-called New York School of poets, with three of whom (John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, and James Schuyler) he founded the review Locus Solus in 1961. Through his friendship with Georges Perec, he became a member of the Oulipo in 1972. The author of six novels and several collections of poetry, recent publications are THE NEW TOURISM (Sand Paper Press, 2010), Sainte Catherine, a novella written in French (Éditions P.O.L, 2000), The Human Country: the Collected Short Stories (Dalkey Archive Press, 2002), The Case of the Persevering Maltese: Collected Essays (Dalkey Archive Press, 2003), OULIPO COMPENDIUM (co-edited with Alastair Brotchie; Atlas Press and Make Now Press, 2005), and My Life in CIA: A Chronicle of 1973 (Dalkey Archive Press, 2005). Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA