Song X: New and Selected Poems

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9781584981114: Song X: New and Selected Poems
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Poetry. "For Pritchett, the word is the sign of a divine spark that must be continually fueled by more thought. Not cinematic: secret. The poems unveil an orange glow behind loneliness, a color beyond erasure."—Fanny Howe

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About the Author:

Patrick Pritchett's works include SONG X: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS (Talisman House, Publishers, 2014), GNOSTIC FREQUENCIES (Spuyten Duyvil, 2011), ANTIPHONAL (Pressed Wafer, 2008), BURN: DOXOLOGY FOR JOAN OF ARC (Chax Press, 2005), and Reside (Dead Metaphor Press, 1999). He serves on the advisory editorial board of Journal of Modern Literature and is a Lecturer in the History and Literature Program at Harvard University and Visiting Lecturer in Poetry at Amherst College.

Review:

I hear the motion in these stirring poems as radiant spans of thought, 'the Auto-Graphic gesture of becoming.' A reader will experience the recurrence of a most ancient way of being lost, a world stranger, a visitor here, an X who travels in one long single take. For Pritchett, the word is the sign of a divine spark that must be continually fuelled by more thought. Not cinematic: secret. The poems unveil an orange glow behind loneliness, a color beyond erasure. --Fanny Howe

Patrick Pritchett's 'Song X' takes its title from the classic free jazz album by Pat Methany and Ornette Coleman. And like the music on that album, Pritchett's poetry seeks to wrest itself from the inherent materiality of its making so that it may achieve an impossibly pure spirit of lyricism. As the poet declares, 'this is the beauty that smites the city,' a visionary assault that comes 'In the asterisk that occludes or names each event.' 'Song X' contains a generous selection from Pritchett's earlier collections, including 'Burn,' his daring 'doxology' on the martyrdom of Joan of Arc, and 'Gnostic Frequencies,' a work that as clearly reveals the antinomian and acosmic impulses that are shaking up contemporary American poetry as any I might name. To read Pritchett is to walk upon 'the ground / that undescribes you.' And that is holy ground. --Norman Finkelstein

Patrick Pritchett is an exceptional poet. His revelatory 'Song X' is a gift of life and years and gives up many joys and lived private truth. He is not afraid of beauty and its formal intellect in the estate of song. It's great to have this essential gathering of his work, it's a great book. --Peter Gizzi

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