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April 2009
80 pages  

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See Jack
Edson, Russell
Edson began publishing poetry in the 1960s. He has been called “the godfather of prose poems in America” by Booklist’s Ray Olson. Edson has been quoted as saying “Prose comes so naturally that one doesn’t really have to choose it, it’s already in one’s mouth”.

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Russell Edson was a playwright, novelist, and poet. He authored eighteen previous poetry collections, including The Tormented Mirror, The Reason Why the Closet-Man is Never Sad, The Wounded Breakfast: Ten Poems, and The Tunnel: Selected Poems.
“An artist who moonlights as a dentist. A worm who's eternal. A farmer who milks his cow to death. Not to mention the guy with a belly button for an eye. Russell Edson, self-named Little Mr. Prose Poem, returns with See Jack, a book of fractured fairy tales, whose impeccable logic undermines logic itself, a book that champions what he has called elsewhere 'the dark uncomfortable metaphor.' 'What better way to die,' he writes in the final prose poem, 'than waiting for the fat lady to sing in the make-believe of theater, where nothing's real, not the fat lady, not even death . . . ' See Jack may be Edson's best book yet—proof that his imaginative powers keep growing. What a deliciously scary thought!”—Peter Johnson

Past praise for Russell Edson: “Edson is the godfather of the prose poem in America. His work sets a standard for prose poetry that few other practitioners can meet. They can elicit laughter, disgust, or both simultaneously, and they defy easy interpretation, for they lack overt symbolism. They are as disturbing but often, especially in this book, as dazzling as a good Dali or de Chirico painting.”—Booklist on The Tormented Mirror

Past praise for Russell Edson: “A magnificent book. The microscopic precision and intuitive leaps evident throughout confirm that Edson is not merely an offbeat original but a profound contemporary poet deserving of wider recognition.”—Rain Taxi on The Tunnel: Selected Poems of Russell Edson

“Rarely is poetry so belly-laugh inducing, so beguiling, so strange.”—On the Seawall: A Literary Website (Ron Slate)

“The profundity of Edson’s genius has perhaps never been as fully appreciated as it should, in spite of his fervent following. But Edson is one of the few poets one would trust to survive an encounter with death itself and find ever new terrain for poetry. ‘See Jack’ is as much the capstone of a singular career as it is a point of departure for Edson’s ongoing practice of things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.”—The Kenyon Review

“Edson continues to build his legend by writing sad, serious, strange, and funny prose poems. No one writes like Edson, though many prose poets wish they could and have imitated him for decades. This new volume perpetuates the myth, presenting fresh and insightful paragraphs on everything from internal worms to an old man’s soup to a man barking at the moon.”—Bloomsbury Review

“Edson is one of the most significant practitioners of the prose poem in contemporary American letters.”—Rain Taxi

“His work continues to charm and alarm with its surreal and shocking stories.”—American Poet

“Edson’s prose poems are like fables. Each opens a window onto a world that is absurd and ruthless, funny and perverse. . . . an enjoyable new book.” —Pleiades

“There is much humor in cataloging the ways dreams, lives, and loves end. But Edson never allows that humor to dull our knowledge that sill, ridiculous death is still final.”—The Hollins Critic

Complete Description Reviews
Pitt Poetry Series Table of Contents
Poetry Read a selection from this book



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