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Collected Poems (Writing 34) [Paperback]

Edward Dorn , Jennifer Dunbar Dorn
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.00
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Book Description

29 Nov 2012 Writing 34
Edward Dorn's Collected Poems enables readers to experience for the first time the full scope of his poetry, from poems of the 1950s and 60s to his posthumous Chemo Sabe (2001), and a wealth of previously unpublished poems, Gunslinger (1968-75) Dorn's masterpiece and one of the great American poems, is included in its entirety. Passionate, searing, witty and committed, Dorn's Collected Poems is one of the century's essential bodies of work. The book includes a preface by Jennifer Dunbar Dorn, the poet's window, and afterwords by Jermy Prynne and Amiri Baraka. Dorn's prefaces to his collections, publication histories and bibliographies enrich the poems in this indispensible edition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1024 pages
  • Publisher: Carcanet Press Ltd; Reprint edition (29 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847771262
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847771261
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 230,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Ever since I was arrested for stealing a copy of Gunslinger I have paid very close attention to Edward Dorn's poetry... As a political satirist you can't bypass him, you have to go through him. His humour hooks in and hauls the laugh out of you. His long acquaintance with Britain has helped shape some of the best poets who served their apprenticeships in the 1960s. Culturally speaking the Old Country owes him a great debt... Any publication by Dorn is an exciting event...' --Tom Pickard

'This monumental and superbly produced Collected Poems from Manchester's Carcanet Press should go some way to rectifying things, for it reveals the body of Dorn's lifelong work in poetry as an achievement of tremendous intelligence, scope and energy'. --Matthew Sperling, The London Magazine

About the Author

Edward Dorn was born in Eastern Illinois in 1929 and grew up in rural poverty during the Great Depression. After two years at the University of Illinois, a set of circumstances and warps of destiny took him to Black Mountain College, where he studied with Charles Olson. For several years he travelled through the Far West, following the winds of writing and employment. In 1961 he became a teacher at the University of Idaho and saw the publication of his first book of poetry. Invited by Donald Davie in 1965 to join the faculty at the new University of Essex, he spent most of the next 5 years in England, where he wrote the first book of his epic Gunslinger. In the 1970s he taught at universities from Chicago to California, and again at Essex, before accepting a professorship in 1978 at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he directed the creative writing program, and continued teaching until his death in December, 1999. He is the author of over 40 books of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and translation.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Massive collection of work by the late Ed Dorn. 23 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ed Dorn was a polemicist, and most of his poetry is in that vein, rather than being lyrical and 'verbal music' - though some of it is, which gives the reader an occasional surprise of pleasure. His personality shines through, and reminds me a lot of the (also late) novelist Kurt Vonnegut junior, with alot of irreverent humour.. If you find you like the man, you'll enjoy this collection, as I am at the present, having thoroughly skimmed it for a week or two. I admit he was new to me before I read a review of this tome..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars at last in one book 14 May 2013
Format:Paperback
Favourite poet: my copy of Gunslinger is sellotaped and grubby beyond decency so this is a treat, plus so much more l didn't know about. Amazed at how consistent he is, how simply brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff 25 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good edition and some wonderful poems by someone I'd not heard of before the LRB review.

4 more words req.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB COLLECTION OF A GREAT POET"S LIFE'S WORK! 14 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So happy to have all of Ed Dorn's poems in print again. I hope new generations will benefit from his amazing work. "The North Atlanti Turbine", for me, is a seminal work!
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Clarion Conscience of America 21 Jan 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My first encounter with poet Ed Dorn was in Donald Allen's epochal "New American Poetry" anthology issued by Grove Press in 1960. Most of the poems found there like the immortal "Hide of My Mother" were written in the mid-1950s, when Dorn was already one of the most compellingly original voices in American poetry. Dorn had a tough, leathery lyricism that protected, as well as it could, his rawhide heart from further injury at the hands of post-war American industrialism and imperialism. In time, this increasingly angry social and political elegist, who died in December 1999, wrote luminous laments for a society that was still decades away from confronting the domestic rot and foreign ruins that are the main byproducts of an unfettered Capitalist colossus. "On the Debt My Mother Owed to Sears Roebuck" is one of the greatest depictions of a society that has perfected the art of metabolizing spiritual hunger into material need (and greed). It is the poem written on the face of every downcast farmer's wife in every FSA photograph of the 1930s and 40s. I've always felt that Dorn is a secular Isaiah and Jeremiah wrapped into one--but with the biblical intensity filtered through the most indignant plain speech of William Carlos Williams and straight talk of Charles Olson. Here's his own poetics and self-portraiture from 1965:

On the bed of the vast promiscuity
of the poet's senses is turned
the multiple world, no love is possible
that has not received the
freight of that fact
no wake possible that has not met
the fluxes of those oceans.
The moon orbits
only for that permission. . . .
--from: "Song: The Astronauts," Collected Poems, p. 137.

This poem taught me then, and still does now, that the first man to walk on the moon was a poet who set his longing eyes upon it. That relentless, searching gaze of the distance was the only space travel I recognized.

I confess there are days where I open this much-welcome book at random and just immerse myself in the most articulate angry consciousness and conscience of the generation that preceded mine. In his later years, Dorn had the armor of incisive cynicism to provoke his readers more than to protect himself. A for instance, from page 712, that rings more true in 2014 that 1985 when it was written:

These Times Are Medieval

They'd just as soon sell ya
a poison pizza as look atcha.

They'd justas soon fireya
as hireya

And they'd rather
killya than feedya.

At the bottom of the same page we find the following:

Pow-Wow in Geneva

Stock market up 8 points.
Does that mean
the speculators smell war?
Or that the capitalists are
just on another optimism binger?

Oh, how right Dorn was by 1985 to rail at the energy vampires "who consider carbon mono / just a passing gas, and ozone holes / letting the sunshine in." Look, Dorn was still crying in anguish before the environmental and economic tipping points had been reached. And his critique of America is truer every hideous day of its denouement as an empire. It's probably too late to do anything but sit in a beach chair at Dover Beach and wait for the final tsunami. But if you insist on staying farther inland and fighting for a second chance or a satisfying morsel of grace, stock up on some of Dorn's later castigations against the profiteers to post on Facebook or use on Twitter after choking on the evening news. This book belongs in the library of anyone who professes a love for poetry.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE American poet 14 Oct 2013
By raymond Obermayr - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Under one cover, at last, the collected work of Edward Dorn should place him in the canon of our greatest poets. He gives with careful attention a chronicle of the 20th century in ever inventive poetic form. He ruffled a lot of feathers in the poesy hierarchy. Give him a reading and you will find out why.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ed Dorn's Collected Poems 28 July 2013
By Paul Dresman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A long-awaited collection of all of Dorn's poetry that is a great pleasure to read. Carcanet Press of Manchester, England is to be congratulated for assembling this indispensable volume. Returning to Dorn's superb wit caused me to laugh aloud a multitude of times. A singular, American poet. This volume is enhanced by the afterwords of Amiri Baraka and Jeremy Prynne as well as the editing by Jennifer Dunbar Dorn throughout. Buy it, try it, and enlighten thyself.
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