Parallel Play Poems


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Graywolf Press


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1555974376

9781555974374

80 Pages

$14.00

CAD16.00

Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy
Consult virtually any childhood development guide and you'll run across the term "parallel play": when children under two are placed together, they'll play separately but won't interact. Stephen Burt's second collection of poems, Parallel Play, describes lovers, friends, travelers, and revelers attempting lives dependent on each other but still pulled inevitably into preoccupations of their own self-awareness. In precisely crafted poems rife with humor and insight, Burt examines life among his coterie of characters and venues—from the rock clubs of New York City to the basketball courts of the WNBA, from the canvases of Kline and Richter to the canvassers in a hard-fought election, from two lovers trying to make a go of it to the two albino squirrels who "make a sort of couple, like Hepburn and Grant." Parallel Play confirms Stephen Burt as one of America's most exciting new voices.

REVIEWS

Praise for Parallel Play

"Each of the four sections of this is punctuated by Burt's brilliant version of a poem by Callimachus. Burt thereby casts an eerie light on the American life that fills the rest of this book, as the poems move from the endless deferral of adolescence ('we will know who we are once we have won') to the plenitude and deprivations that sustain adulthood. This is a masterly book by one of the most gifted poets of his generation."—Frank Bidart

"Stephen Burt has found a courage I'd never imagined until I read these poems. It is the courage to expound the consolations of Terror, to declare that we are the Ancients of ourselves, already more accustomed than we know to life in the ruins. With Parallel Play, Burt becomes the Cavafy of these former United States. It will be a privilege to await the barbarians in his good company."—Donald Revell

"Burt, the finest critic of his generation, has struck out on his own. It is time now to celebrate Burt's other real work. Here, in his second book of poems, Parallel Play, he writes, mockingly: 'I have been identified / as gifted & dangerous.' Gifted—simply so. Dangerous—but only in these little aeries hewn in the fierce clutch of his (deeply) American intelligences."—Lucie Brock-Broido

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

Stephen Burt is the author of a previous poetry collection, Popular Music, and
a work of literary criticism, Randall Jarrell and His Age. He currently teaches at Macalester College and lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

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BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


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  • Stephen Burt is the author of a previous poetry collection, Popular Music, and
    a work of literary criticism, Randall Jarrell and His Age. He currently teaches at Macalester College and lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
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