Michael Gottlieb tells us of the years, and holds nothing back. The language poets, the New York poets, the whole shebang!
COLLECTED MEMOIRS is the third in Chax Press’s uniform edition of Michael Gottlieb’s works, joining the SELECTED POEMS (2021) and COLLECTED ESSAYS (2023). What are we doing then, when we delve into the past, our own or someone else’s? Are we engaging in (auto)biography, archeology, history, a form of fiction, or nonfiction? Isn’t examining the past a poetry of a sorts? Not merely nostalgia, but something else, something less easy to pin down. No doubt we delve into the past to make sense of our lives, perhaps even to justify them, but that’s only part of the story. With these three memoirs, we read a life. Not at all a bad one, one well worth living, and well worth reading about.
Literary Nonfiction. Poetry. Essay. Literary Criticism. History.
“A life in, of, and for poetry: Michael Gottlieb generously lays bare the one he has led, putting in plain terms the measures by which the discipline asserts itself as a constitutive force… Gottlieb gives us an immensely valuable document in the annals of Language writing and contemporary literary autobiography.”
—Kasey Silem Mohammed
“A bright young poet arrives penniless in a resplendently decaying New York where he finds a group of like-minded writers. They join ranks and set out to challenge the establishment. Gottlieb makes this old story new with crisp prose and thoughtful personal details.”
“Michael Gottlieb saw it all, did it all & appears to have taken notes.”
Michael Gottlieb is the author of twenty-two books including most recently, SELECTED POEMS, MOSTLY CLEARING, WHAT WE DO: ESSAYS FOR POETS, DEAR ALL, as well as MEMOIR AND ESSAY, the authoritative recounting of the early days of the Language school. He was one of the editors of Roof, the foundational 1970s and 80s poetry magazine. He was also the publisher of Case/Casement Books (1981-1999) and started the Last Tuesday multi-media performance series at La MaMa in NYC in the 1980s. A number of his poems have been adapted for the stage, including And We Will Never Speak of This Again, Mostly Clearing, and The Dust, his poem about 9/11 which was produced on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.