Paul Auster's Collected Poems is a stunning collection of poetry and writings by one of the most intriguing and accomplished voices in contemporary literature - now in paperback.
The figure of the young American poet living in Paris is familiar from Paul Auster's celebrated novels; here that character is realised in Auster's own stunningly accomplished verse. His penetrating and charged poetry resembles little else in recent American literature. This collection of his poems, translations, and composition notes from early in his career furnish yet further evidence of his literary mastery.
Taut, densely lyrical and everywhere informed by a powerful and subtle music, this selection begins with the compact verse fragments of Spokes (written when Auster was in his early twenties) and Unearth, continues on through the more ample meditations of Wall Writing, Disappearances, Effigies, Fragments From the Cold, Facing the Music, and White Spaces, then moves further back in time to include Auster's revealing translations of many of the French poets who influenced his own writing - including Paul Eluard, Andre Breton, Tristan Tzara, Philippe Soupault, Robert Desnos and Rene Char - as well as the provocative and previously unpublished 'Notes From A Composition Book' (1967). An introduction by Norman Finkelstein connects biographical elements to a consideration of the work, and takes in Auster's early literary and philosophical influences. For those interested in Paul Auster's novels - the now-classic New York Trilogy or The Brooklyn Follies - this book is an invaluable opportunity to witness his early development.
Powerful, sometimes haunting, cool, precise and limpid, this view from the past to the present will appeal to those unfamiliar with this aspect of Auster's work, as well as those already acquainted with his poetry. Readers will agree that Auster's grasp on language and the world around him is not only questioning, but mysterious and very human, perceptive, and deeply compelling
Paul Auster is the best-selling author of Invisible, Moon Palace, Mr Vertigo, The Brooklyn Follies, The Book of Illusions and The New York Trilogy, among many other works. In 2006 he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature and inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Among his other honours are the Independent Spirit Award for the screenplay of Smoke and the Prix Medicis Etranger for Leviathan. He has also been short-listed for both the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (The Book of Illusions) and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (The Music of Chance). His work has been translated into more than thirty languages.
He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Literature & literary studies
Poetry by individual poets