A Map of the Lost World

Always a poet of authentic promise, with A Map of the Lost World Rick Hilles emerges into an importance that may rival such poets as Henri Cole and Rosanna Warren. I find it immensely moving that he evokes dead poets for whom I cared personally as well as critically, including James Wright and James Merrill. Beyond that he adds what may be a new dimension to our poetry by evoking the shade of Walter Benjamin and with it the tragedy of European Jewry. I emerge from this book somber yet fortified because like Kafka it reminds us of a kind of indestructibility of the human spirit.
Harold Bloom

The poems that make up A Map of the Lost World range from tightly-wrought shorter lyrics to longer autobiographical narratives to patterns of homage (in several forms) of poets that Hilles admires and emulates (including Richard Hugo, James Wright, James Merrill and Larry Levis) to extended voice-driven meditations, one in the voice of a German Jewish woman, a prisoner who would escape a French concentration camp and go on to fight in the French resistance, to other efforts to confront history and not be devoured by history, and to locate, even resuscitate, friends lost to death, if only provisionally; though each poem in A Map of the Lost World is highly crafted and diversely rendered, in this collection, each poem finds its unifying impulse in itÆs makerÆs desire to span vast distances to reach loved ones, beloved others, the various families of friends, fueled by an almost gymnastic imagination that vaults itself into almost any space—going to almost any length—sustained by the various forms of love, which, after all, may be as close as any of us has come (in this or any life) to knowing and warming ourselves, if not also at times being scalded by, the immortal fires of the Infinite.

96 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

January, 2012

isbn : 9780822961826

about the author

Rick Hilles

Rick Hilles, associate professor of English at Vanderbilt University, is the author of the poetry collections, Brother Salvage, winner of the 2005 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and the 2006 Foreword Poetry Book of the Year, and A Map of the Lost World, a finalist for the Ohioana Book Award. He has been the recipient of a Whiting Award, the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship, and a Camargo Fellowship. He lives in Nashville.

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Rick Hilles