Poetry. "Poems Written in Rome, October 1984 - February 1985" is the note below the manuscript title of ODES OF ROBA ("Roba" means "stuff" in Italian slang), a period which marked Clark Coolidge's first experience of Italy, particularly Rome, an immersion of five months in an architectural complex and cultural dilation long imagined, often heard extolled by Philip Guston, Alvin Curran, and others, and now finally present in the dailiness of the poet's life as a Writer-in-Residence at the American Academy in Rome. In bursts of energy and concentrated excitement, Coolidge catches the verbal light in its multiple bounce off physical presence and cognitive angle alike. Rome is catalyst, oracle, the sound of water. As in his long poem AT EGYPT, written in response to a trip up the Nile River, and in the two as-yet unpublished books written following two visits to the former Soviet Union, ODES OF ROBA preserves this heterodox poet's nominative expedition into the present foreign ancient flux.
Author of more than twenty books of poetry, Clark Coolidge has occupied a singular place in American letters since the mid-1960s. An unparalleled influence on the wider avant- garde—the Language Poets, the second and third generation New York School, and whole movements of visual artists, musicians, and linguists, Coolidge is from Providence, Rhode Island. Since 1997 he has lived in Petaluma, California.Author City: Petaluma, CA USA