At last-a definitive selection of the elegant work by a poet at the forefront of American poetry for more than three decades.
With his first several books, J. D. McClatchy established himself as a poet of urbanity, intellect and prismatic emotion, in the tradition of James Merrill, W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop-one who balances an exploration of the underworld of desire with a mastery of poetic form, and whose artistry reveals the riches and ruins of our "plundered hearts." Now, opening with exquisite new poems-including the stunning "My Hand Collection," a catalogue of art objects that steals up on the complexity of human touch, and a witty and profound poem entitled "My Prostatectomy"-this selection is a glorious full tour of McClatchy's career. It includes excerpts from the powerful book-length sequence Ten Commandments (1998) and his more recent works Hazmat(2002) and Mercury Dressing (2009), for which he has been hailed as a poet of "ferocious alertness," one who elicits (says The New Leader) "the kind of wonder and joy we experience when the curtain comes down on a dazzling performance."
J. D. McClatchy is the author of five earlier books of poems and three collections of prose. He has served as the editor of many books, including The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, and has written thirteen opera libretti that have been performed at the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, La Scala, and elsewhere. McClatchy teaches at Yale University and is the editor of The Yale Review. He lives in New York City and Stonington, Connecticut.