New and Selected Poems, 1975-1995

New and Selected Poems One of the New York Public Library s Books to Remember in Lux comments on the absurd the pathetic and the commonplace in our culture writing with compassion as well as satire He is singular

  • Title: New and Selected Poems, 1975-1995
  • Author: Thomas Lux
  • ISBN: 9780395924884
  • Page: 477
  • Format: Paperback
  • One of the New York Public Library s 25 Books to Remember in 1997Lux comments on the absurd, the pathetic, and the commonplace in our culture, writing with compassion as well as satire He is singular among his peers in his ability to convey with a deceptive lightness the paradoxes of human emotion, says Publishers Weekly, and Robert Hass, in the Washington Post Book WOne of the New York Public Library s 25 Books to Remember in 1997Lux comments on the absurd, the pathetic, and the commonplace in our culture, writing with compassion as well as satire He is singular among his peers in his ability to convey with a deceptive lightness the paradoxes of human emotion, says Publishers Weekly, and Robert Hass, in the Washington Post Book World, takes special note of Lux s bitter wit, the kind of irony that comes with a quick, impatient intelligence.

    • New and Selected Poems, 1975-1995 BY Thomas Lux
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    About “Thomas Lux

    • Thomas Lux

      Acclaimed poet and teacher Thomas Lux began publishing haunted, ironic poems that owed much to the Neo surrealist movement in the 1970s Critically lauded from his first book Memory s Handgrenade 1972 , Lux s poetry has gradually evolved towards a direct treatment of immediately available, though no less strange, human experience Often using ironic or sardonic speakers, startlingly apt imagery, careful rhythms, and reaching into history for subject matter, Lux has created a body of work that is at once simple and complex, wildly imaginative and totally relevant Lux is vocal about the tendency in contemporary poetry to confuse difficulty with originality In an interview with Cerise Press, Lux stated There s plenty of room for strangeness, mystery, originality, wildness, etc in poems that also invite the reader into the human and alive center about which the poem circles Known for pairing humor with sharp existentialism, Lux commented in the Los Angeles Times, I like to make the reader laugh and then steal that laugh, right out of the throat Because I think life is like that, tragedy right alongside humor Born in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1946 to working class parents, Lux attended Emerson College and the University of Iowa Lux s first collections, including Memory s Handgrenade and Sunday Poems 1979 , were grounded in the Neo Surrealist techniques of contemporaries like James Tate and Bill Knott Contemporary Poets contributor Richard Damashek wrote that Lux s early work was intensely personal tormented and tortured, full of complex and disjointed images reflecting an insane and inhospitable world Such early Lux s poems were often portraits of a solo native always strange to the world, observed Elizabeth Macklin in Parnassus, always on the verge of extradition, always beset with allergies to the native element, like a simple vase not tolerating water With Half Promised Land 1986 , Lux began the turn that characterizes much of his later work The book foregoes many of the surrealist techniques of Sunday and focuses instead on an increasingly careful and accurate depiction of the real world In later books like The Drowned River 1990 and the Kingsley Tufts award winning Split Horizon 1994 , Lux utilizes a conversational tone to describe what one reviewer called the invisible millions populating the poems Describing his own progress in an interview with the Cortland Review, he said I kind of drifted away from Surrealism and the arbitrariness of that I got interested in subjects, identifiable subjects other than my own angst or ennui or things like that I got better and better, I believe, at the craft I paid and attention to the craft Making poems rhythmical and musical and believable as human speech and as distilled and tight as possible is very important to me I started looking outside of myself a lot for subjects I read a great deal of history, turned outward as opposed to inward Lux s other collections include New and Selected Poems 1975 1995 1997 , The Street of Clocks 2001 , The Cradle Place 2004 and God Particles 2008 , a collection Elizabeth Hoover described as lucid and morally urgent in the Los Angeles Times Thomas Lux taught at Sarah Lawrence for over twenty years and is affiliated with the Warren Wilson MFA program currently the Bourne chair in poetry at the Georgia Institute of Technology, he is a renowned teacher In the Cortland Review interview, he described teaching s greatest rewards you see people get excited by poetry You see their lives changed by poetry You see someone beginning to learn how to articulate and express themselves in this very tight art form, in this very distilled manner You see all sorts and hear all sorts of really human stuff, really human business His many awards and honors include the Kinglsley Tufts Poetry Award, a Guggenheim fel



    402 thoughts on “New and Selected Poems, 1975-1995

    • This book was recommended to me by a friend who's currently studying with Lux. About five poems in, I started trying convince said friend to give Lux a polaroid photo of me with "I like you! Do you like me! If yes, check this box," written on the back.Lux has a conversational style that fans of the how-ubiquitious-can-one-poet-be Billy Collins will be drawn to. He uses this casual, approachable tone to build to climactic moments of shocking power. He's a perfect example of Annie Lamott's advice [...]


    • I happened upon this Thomas Lux poem on the internet not that long ago:Tarantulas on the LifebuoyFor some semitropical reason when the rains fall relentlessly they fallinto swimming pools, these otherwise bright and scaryarachnids. They can swima little, but not for longand they can’t climb the ladder out.They usually drown—but if you want their favor,if you believe there is justice, a reward for not lovingthe death of uglyand even dangerous (the eel, hog snake, rats) creatures, ifyou believ [...]



    • Back when I was touring colleges, I sat in on a class that was reading Lux for the day. I didn't end up choosing that school, but "Cellar Stairs" stayed with me, and now I'm finally reading the rest of the collection more than a decade later. It's an interesting mix of the charmingly mundane and the philosophically resonant, of the utterly compelling and the wait, what?. There are certainly poets I like better, but I quite enjoyed dwelling in these pages of his for a while. My favorite ten, at t [...]


    • An ample culling from five of Lux’s books starting with Sunday (1979) on up to Split Horizon (1994). This author’s voice is loud, confident, smart as heck and profoundly insightful. Lux demonstrates a deep knowledge of the history of oppression and human folly. The poems have a rapid musicality and overflow with humor, masterful imagery, and are often written in, and enhanced by, the second person voice.


    • A friend once recited "The Man Inside the Chipmunk Suit" at an open mic event in the early 2000s; it rather stuck with me.I enjoyed both the new and the selected; summer story and chipmunk, barn fire and moth.Recommendation: listen to Becoming a Jackal by Villagers while reading this through in its entirety for a second time.


    • This poet is just consistently good. I'd seen one of his poems somewhere and wanted to read more. This was a perfect selection because it includes selected poems. You get some of his new stuff with poems that he looks back to and still things they have worth. I just loved the work, and see Mr. Lux as one of the powerful living poets who is going to endure.


    • One of my favorite poets right now. I mostly liked a lot of his newer stuff in this book, which means the middle of the book didn't grab me, but his newer, and even really old stuff is similar in voice and style. If you even want to look him up online to see if you like his stuff, Google Thomas Lux and check him out.


    • I like Lux's spirit (what I can sense of it) and tone of voice. So this is hard to sayThere are some fantastic poems in this book. For instance, "Job's Problems" on page 152.However, for a "New & Selected" collection? I expected more poems like that.To be honest there just weren't that many. However,the good ones in there are good ones nonetheless.


    • Lux's voice rings so fresh and engaging, and his images so pungent, you forget you are reading poetry. You forget you are reading at all. If you ever get a chance to hear him read, go. You won't be sorry.


    • This is a greatest hits book. A lot of really good stuff in it. I bought it at a writer's retreat where Tom was one of the featured writers. After hearing him read from the book he was working on at the time, I had to buy his older stuff. I was not disappointed.



    • I read this after reading Lux's God Particles. This collection is good, but not nearly as refined as God Particles. I would start with that one if you're interested in Lux.



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