“These rhymes of Henry’s, A to Z, praise and sting, whistle and lullabye, and most wonderfully, make me smile.” —Billie Chernicoff
“I began this sequence of alphabet poems in the summer of 2019 and completed it a year later. The sequence took shape around experiments with layered rhyme I have been making in recent years as well as around a formal rule or principle that I chose somewhat arbitrarily. This was that each of the poems would begin on the phoneme of the letter to which it was assigned, and would end either with that phoneme or with its rhyme. Some of the poems are in strict meter, but the technique of layering rhyme allowed me to vary the measure in unusual ways. In general, the early poems in the sequence are lighter and shorter than the later ones. Perhaps I simply warmed to my theme.” —Henry Weinfield
“AN ALPHABET, yes, but also something of a grammar, exhibiting the rules of lyric poetry at its best, as both craft and art. Everything one expects from Weinfield’s verse is here: the formal perfection, the ingenious wit, the tenderness, the elegance, the deep intelligence, and (of course) the very real beauty.” —David Bentley Hart
Henry Weinfield's most recent books are AS THE CROW FLIES, a collection of poems (Dos Madres Press, 2021), and The Labyrinth of Love (Parlor Press, 2021), a verse-translation of the selected sonnets and other poems by Pierre de Ronsard. In 2019, Dos Madres published his translation of The Chimeras (Les Chimères) by Gérard de Nerval, with illustrations by the artist Douglas Kinsey. In 2018 he edited and contributed the introduction to FROM THE VAST VERSAL LEXICON: SELECTED POEMS by Allen Mandelbaum (Pennyroyal Press). His other collections of poetry include WITHOUT MYTHOLOGIES: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS AND TRANSLATIONS (2008) and A WANDERING ARAMAEAN: PASSOVER POEMS AND TRANSLATIONS (2012), both from Dos Madres. His translation of and commentary on The Collected Poems of Stéphane Mallarmé appeared in 1994 (University of California Press) and his translation, done in collaboration with Catherine Schlegel, of Hesiod's Theogony and Works and Days, in 2006 (University of Michigan Press). He is the author of three scholarly studies, the most recent of which is The Blank-Verse Tradition from Milton to Stevens: Freethinking and the Crisis of Modernity (Cambridge University Press, 2012). A native of Montreal, he taught at the University of Notre Dame from 1991 to 2019 and now lives in New York City.