by Ben Mazer
"Ben Mazer is lyric poetry's true hero and has not compromised one iota, as his amazing works attest with their singular purity, beauty and heartbreak."
"Like fragments of old photographs happened on in a drawer, Ben Mazer's poems tap enigmatic bits of the past that suddenly come to life again. To read him is to follow him along a dreamlike corridor where everything is beautiful and nothing is as it seems."
"Ben Mazer is one of the few poets of his generation to understand that only mastery of craft will bring you to the natural breath, and that to sing memorably in verse, with the body, on the line, is the only way to sound the depths of the passing moment."
"I am a great admirer of Ben Mazer's poetry."About the author
Ben Mazer's poems appear frequently in international periodicals, including Fulcrum, Harvard Review, Salt, Verse, Jacket, Boston Review, Agenda, and The Wolf. His previous full-length collection is White Cities (Barbara Matteau Editions, 1995), and he is also the author of January 2008 (Dark Sky Books, 2010), which is published simultaneously with this volume. His chapbooks include Johanna Poems (Cy Gist Press, 2007) and The Foundations of Poetry Mathematics (Cannibal Books, 2008). He is the editor of Selected Poems of Frederick Goddard Tuckerman (Harvard University Press, 2010), Everything Preserved: Poems 1955-2005 by Landis Everson (Graywolf Press, 2006), and a forthcoming edition of the poetry and prose of John Crowe Ransom.
by Ben Mazer
“A surge of poems in the aftermath of a friend’s sudden death, recalling Emily Dickinson’s ‘After great sadness a formal feeling comes.’ And indeed the formality here is in the nature of a deliverance. Not so easy: the echoes rage and multiply, rhymes (better/ water/ patter) knock about and sometimes screech, big-time history pales or looks cheap compared to simpler intimacies — and sometimes a moon-like ‘she’ appears to cast much-needed receptivity every which way. The poems are all necessity, ‘a frozen crystal spectrum magnified,’ a procession.”
— Bill Berkson, author of Portrait and Dream
“Ben Mazer’s January 2008 reads like pages ripped from an ingenious madman’s most personal journal, like love letters never sent — in other words like unbridled passion penned in the flame of a moment and not meant for any eyes but the writer’s own. Here intense confessional lines seduce us into a universe of surreal grotesque, where satin monkeys keep company alongside Frankenstein and movie stars from the golden age of cinema appear nonchalantly alongside Dante’s Beatrice in Mazer’s testament to love, loss, and most importantly, to poetry.”
— Katy Henriksen, publisher of Cannibal Books