After the Fall refers to the twin towers, and is Field’s ode to the events that transpired thereafter–the war in Iraq andthe attack on civil rights in America–as well as his own personal struggles over the indignities of aging.
I have for decades considered Edward Field our greatest living poet. He combines the wriest wit with the deepest compassion. He has raised the movie poem, the 'confessional' poem, the performance poem, and the memoir to the highest art in the most conversational of styles. He taught an entire generation of poets to talk straight and (his favorite word) 'sassy.' He remains modest, mischievous, and full of surprises. He is quite simply (or not so simply) the best.
Edward Field is my favorite poet and he has been for decades. Deftly written and deceptively casual, Field's poetry lodges in the heart where it belongs. This new collection, After the Fall, is just plain wonderful.
Primal, earthy images in exceptional poetry. . .The verses about the creation of day, night, sun, moon, stars, thunder, lightning, heaven, earth and hell resound with wonder, vengeance, and bravery, offering a keen sense of the people.
When [Field] writes about the (his) body, he is as wondrous as Ginsberg but commonplace and funny rather than cosmic and vatic. When he's vulgar (reasonably often), he's like a benign, though filthy, stand-up comic, minus the cynicism. . . . But if humor predominates in his older work, anger suffuses the new poems, written after the fall of the Twin Towers. Because that anger is mastered and channeled into cogent, down-to-earth speech, Field's may be the best 9/11 protest poems yet.
[Field is] a productive, enduring treasure of an American poet with a clear and purposeful concern.
A testimony, or rather a witnessing of a very rich and deep life. Field is a poet that does not take himself too seriously, and that renders his poetry, not only readable, but simply, great. Field is, truly, amazing.
Anyone who's ever sniffled about not understanding contemporary poetry should read Edward Field, posthaste. Accessible and urgent, he keeps it taut and in the process we are taught. . . . This is strong stuff, like a healthy dose of medicine . . . the language is hard-hitting and direct. Sometimes it is heart-wrenching. Field is about how we live. He can stand back to capture perspective and then set it in motion.
Politically charged, rooted in bohemian ideals, and drenched with the call for sexual freedom, 'After the Fall' is a critical volume for the complete library.
In all of Field's offerings lies an irrepressible wit and a bite that is affecting in its point of entry and its departure of warning. The poet revels, like Whitman, in the youthfulness of spirit that has no intention of exiting from the stage of senior age.
Edward Field is the author of more than ten books of poetry, including Counting Myself Lucky and A Frieze for a Temple of Love, and a memoir, The Man Who Would Marry Susan Sontag, and Other Intimate Literary Portraits of the Bohemian Era. He is also coauthor of three fiction books (written with Neil Derrick, published under the pseudonym of Bruce Elliot). He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the W. H. Auden Award, the Bill Whitehead Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Lambda Literary Award.learn more