Poetry. In DISTANCE, Stephen Ratcliffe has written a series of one hundred long-lined poems using words and phrases drawn from the language of literature, science, etymology, history, geology, geography, art, as well as everyday life. Originally composed as daily "entries" during the course of a hundred consecutive days, these poems discover how suddenly the syntax of the everyday world becomes exotic, and how much subjectivity comes to inform the objective, only apparently haphazard schemes of word and world: "Even the simplest sentence, for example, throwing stones, one time devoted to one subject as if to be by a book on a table, a hat on a hook." Distance here represents the space between language and world across which attention projects the range of its precarious and constantly shifting dynamics—a space in which, as Clark Coolidge writes, "each paragraph just keeps going farther OUT, wild." The abstraction of its surfaces as fluidly textured as a canvas by de Kooning, this writing bring us to the point where thought and perception first enters a language which makes them real: "sometimes rosey, the broad flat tints of ink are parked between two celestial spheres."
Stephen Ratcliffe is the author of more than twenty books of poetry, including ROCKS (Cuneiform Press, 2020), MORE ROCKS (Cuneiform Press, 2020), SOUND OF WAVE IN CHANNEL (BlazeVOX Books, 2018), PAINTING (Chax Press, 2014), and SELECTED DAYS (Counterpath Press, 2012) which won The Poetry Center Book Award. He has also written three books of literary criticism, READING THE UNSEEN: (OFFSTAGE) HAMLET (Counterpath Press, 2010), LISTENING TO READING (SUNY Press, 2000), and Campion: On Song (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981). His ongoing series of six 1,000-page books, each written in 1,000 consecutive days, is available at Editions Eclipse and his daily poems-plus-photographs appear at Temporality. He has lived in Bolinas since 1973.Author City: BOLINAS, CA USA