New and Selected Poems of Thomas Lux: 1975-1995

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9780395924884: New and Selected Poems of Thomas Lux: 1975-1995

One of the New York Public Library's 25 "Books to Remember" in 1997 Lux comments on the absurd, the pathetic, and the commonplace in our culture, writing with compassion as well as satire. He is "singular among his peers in his ability to convey with a deceptive lightness the paradoxes of human emotion," says Publishers Weekly, and Robert Hass, in the Washington Post Book World, takes special note of Lux's "bitter wit, the kind of irony that comes with a quick, impatient intelligence."

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Review:

Writing in the Georgia Review, Peter Stitt described Thomas Lux's writing as a "mingling of humor and sincerity," capable of both "ferocious anger and deep tenderness." These seemingly irreconcilable traits marry in Lux's best poems, which you'll find in this collection. Consider, for instance, "Travelling Exhibit of Torture Instruments." Lux is overcome by a wave of reactions to the instruments: he is awed by their genius, their effectiveness; he is obviously bitter about the depths of human cruelty; he is darkly amused by the absurdity of it all; he is bone-crushingly tired and sad at the seeming futility of life. The ending of the poem might contain any, or all of these reactions: "It seems most times men did this or that, / so terrible to him or her, / it was because God willed it so. / Or, at least, they thought He did." Lux is eclectic and brilliant, with a sharp mind and a good ear.

About the Author:

THOMAS LUX holds the Bourne Chair in Poetry and is the director of the McEver Visiting Writers Program at Georgia Institute of Technology. He has been awarded three NEA grants and the Kingsley Tufts Award and is a former Guggenheim Fellow. He lives in Atlanta.

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