In ON THE LONG BLUE NIGHT, Eliot Cardinaux’s debut poetry collection, language is a ruined landscape through which the estranged voice of the poem threads a narrow way. As Patrick Pritchett writes, “this is poetry written at the frayed edge of history, ushered by the tutelary spirits of Celan and Mandlestam, full of longing and a deep listening to the silence.”
“In Eliot Cardinaux’s unsettling and intimate debut collection, ‘the lateword’ illuminates a landscape of ruins that is still redeemable by the yearning of logos, its flickering presence marking a way forward for the poem in a time when poetry has found itself held hostage by sociological sermonizing, empty positivism, and puritanical grievances. ‘Won’t you take what is given, / pain in the branches / ringing the gavel, / cradled like a lamb,’ asks the poem. Bright with spiritual darkness, this is poetry written at the frayed edge of history, ushered by the tutelary spirits of Celan and Mandlestam, full of longing and a deep listening to the silence.” —Patrick Pritchett
Eliot Cardinaux was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1984, and spent time growing up in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition to being a poet and translator, he is a pianist and composer working in the field of jazz and improvisation. He studied briefly at Manhattan School of Music, and Conservatorium van Amsterdam, before completing his degree in music at New England Conservatory. He went on to acquire an MFA in poetry from The University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has traveled to Denmark and Germany several times over the last decade to perform and record his poetry and music. At present, he has a trio with Will McEvoy and Max Goldman, a duo with Gary Fieldman, and is a member of the international ensemble Our Hearts as Thieves. His albums include American Thicket, Sweet Beyond Witness, Out of Our Systems, and Pavane. He is the founder of The Bodily Press, an independent chapbook press and record label. He has taught at UMass Amherst, and worked as a bookseller at Amherst Books.