Winner of the William Carlos Williams Prize
History of My Heart first appeared in 1984. In The New Republic, J.D. McClatchy called it "one of the best books of the past decade." It is Pinsky's third volume of poems—and an ideal introduction to the work of a vital and original contemporary American poet.
"History of My Heart includes . . . parents and boyhood neighbors, Fats Waller warming the Christmas crowd at Macy's, holocaust victims and the inspired derelicts beautifully summoned up in the poem 'The New Saddhus' . . . Mr. Pinsky has a rare gift for portraits of this kind, for action, character, and atmosphere clearly and buoyantly proportioned."—Roland Flint, The New York Times Book Review
"The core of Pinsky's third book of poems is the long title piece . . . [He] has written long poems from the beginning and established himself as a poet in the discursive mode with serious moral purposes . . . Pinsky mixes warm and often funny autobiographical anecdotes with long comfortable passages of commentary . . . What's especially interesting is the way Pinsky refrains from embedding his figures and fables in obligatory explanation. His voice is still engagingly talky, still confiding, anecdotal, funny, sober, and reflective . . . but it seems to pause more often, to see more deeply into the strangeness of things, and to be less concerned about continuity, connection, and closure."—Elizabeth Frank, The Nation