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
Harry Mathews was born in 1930 in New York City and studied musical composition at Princeton and Harvard. He lived for many years in France, where he co-founded the influential journal Locus Solus with John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, and James Schuyler in 1961; joined the Oulipo in 1972; and served as Paris editor of The Paris Review from 1989-2003. His novels include The Solitary Twin; My Life in CIA: A Chronicle of 1973; The Sinking of the Odradek Stadium; and Tlooth. His short stories and essays are collected in The Human Country and The Case of the Persevering Maltese. Other books include 20 Lines a Day and Singular Pleasures, COLLECTED POEMS: 1946-2016 (Sand Paper Press, 2020), THE NEW TOURISM (Sand Paper Press, 2010), and OUT OF BOUNDS (Burning Deck, 1989). He also translated works by writers including Georges Perec and Marie Chaix, the French novelist whom he married in 1992. Mathews was honored by the French government as an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters and earned awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Endowment for the Arts. He died in 2017 in Key West, Florida, where he had vacationed as a boy, and where he had lived since 1991.Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA