James Tate

James Tate
* Books of Poetry (alphabetical). * Time Line. * Books.

James Tate featured in:

* Best American Poetry: 2016 (guest editor Edward Hirsch) with "Dome of the Hidden Temple".
* Best American Poetry: 1997 (guest editor James Tate).

Books of Poetry (alphabetical).

Shroud of the Gnome: a collection of surreal and sometimes funny poems.

One of my favorites is 'Dream on' which begins:

      "Some people go their whole lives 
      without ever writing a single poem.
      Extraordinary people who don't hesitate 
      to cut somebody's heart or skull open." 

His "The Blind Heron" has a Steve Martin edge to it, taking the surreal into the completely unbelievable. It's amusing. But a generation from now, will we read him much, despite all his prizes? In a century, will all of this book's poems be out-of-print?

While I have no clue what most of these poems mean to the poet, I imagine they are gleefully significant to him and sometimes even to someone else. I do enjoy his wide range of vocabulary (I must get 'shampoo' and 'ergonomics' and 'parrot' into one of my poems), which he mixes with his surreal images as well as banal phrases like "It wasn't worth bothering with" (in "Twenty-five") and "he sort of did" (in "Faulty Diction").

Another of his collections of surreal and sometimes funny poems.

National Book Award Winner.

Perhaps the most relevant is "Like a Scarf", which starts:

      "The directions to the lunatic asylum were confusing;
      most likely they were the random associations
      and confused ramblings of a lunatic." 

Mostly inaccessible except for the shortest poems like: "Annual Report" (p. 33) and "The Wrong Way Home" (p. 35) and "Porch Theory" (p. 56).

Acknowledges first publications in:

Time Line.


1st volume of poetry, The Lost Pilot, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets' Award.

Poetry: The Oblivion Ha Ha.

Poetry: Hints to Pilgrims.

Poetry: Absences.

Poetry: Jazz Viper.

Poetry: Riven Doggeries.

Poetry: Constant Defender.

Poetry: Reckoner.

Poetry: Distances from Loved Ones.

Poetry: Pulitzer Poetry Prize (U.S.A) for Selected Poems.

Poetry: Worshipful Company of Fletchers.

Guest editor for Best American Poetry: 1997.


Links and Books.

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