Poetry. Charles North is the quintessential poet's poet. James Schuyler confidently named him "the most stimulating poet of his generation," while Harry Mathews possibly took it one step further to claim that Charles "belongs on the summit of our American Parnassus." To claim that Charles North is a cornerstone in the home of contemporary American poetry would not be an exaggeration. In EVERYTHING AND OTHER POEMS, his twelfth collection, the trademarks of Charles' poetry shine with an earnestness, ambition, intellect, and his modest sense of humor, capturing the many-faceted lives we lead. For example, in the 26-page-long title poem "Everything," we watch as the poet's mind, like a river, flows past, around, and lifts up the detritus of his imagination: books, movies, paintings, cartoons, animals, the silent letter "e," death, the moon, the weather, the rhythms, sounds, questions and textures of life itself. Prose poems, long-form poems, studies for poems, lists, plus a game of cat and mouse with some French Symbolists, North is at the top of his game in this collection. If anything, with a career spanning over 40 years, this book proves North to be the poet of, well, everything.
Terrence Diggory @ Kenyon ReviewJohn Yau @ HyperallergicInterview @ KCRW Bookworm
An active classical clarinetist in his youth, Charles North has lived most of his life in NYC. He began writing poems in his mid-20s. He has received two National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant, four Fund for Poetry awards, and a Poets Foundation Award. Among his twelve poetry collections, WHAT IT IS LIKE: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS (Hanging Loose Press, 2011) headed NPR's Best Poetry Books of the Year (2011), and his recent collection EVERYTHING AND OTHER POEMS (The Song Cave, 2020) was named a N.Y. Times New and Noteworthy Book. Other published work includes three books of critical prose, collaborations with artists and other poets, poetry chapbooks, and the poet-painter anthologies Broadway (Swollen Magpie, 1979) and BROADWAY 2 (Hanging Loose Press, 1989), which he edited with James Schuyler. He is Poet-in-Residence at Pace University.