Poetry. Literary Nonfiction. At times ironic and sincere, optimism colors every interaction, transaction, and action absorbed into the mockingbird diction of MOSTLY CLEARING. This repetitive impulse privileges idiom and anachronism as means of indexing specific generational affects. Throughout, Gottlieb's speaker addresses three generations of poets: the New York School, his own milieu of Language Writers, and the younger generation whose artistic practice is situated by precarity, instability, and disillusionment. The speaker sympathizes with the latter, nostalgic for "all the swooning certainty of youth/ . . . here once it sprouted in all directions." In the end, hope is what the speaker bequeaths to younger poets as the raw material for imagining a new utopian art.
Michael Gottlieb is the author of twenty books, including MOSTLY CLEARING (Roof Books, 2019), WHAT WE DO: ESSAYS FOR POETS (Chax Press, 2016), I HAD EVERY INTENTION (Faux Press, 2014), DEAR ALL (Roof Books, 2013), MEMOIR AND ESSAY (Faux Press, 2010), LOST AND FOUND (Roof Books, 2003), GORGEOUS PLUNGE (Roof Books, 2000), NEW YORK (The Figures, 1993), and NINETY-SIX TEARS (Roof Books, 1981). "We Will Never Speak of This Again" and "The Dust," his poem about 9/11, have been adapted for the stage. Selections from this book were staged at the Poetry Project in 2019. He works in tech and divides his time between NYC and Connecticut.Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA