Featured Title

The Visible Man
The Visible Man


More books by...

The Look of Things
The Look of Things

Writer's Recommendations

About the Author Poem Poets on Poetry
Picture of Author Author Name
Henri Cole is the author of three earlier books of poems, for which he has received many awards, including the Rome Fellowship in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was executive director of the Academy of American Poets from 1982 to 1988, and he has since taught at Columbia University, Reed College, Yale University, the University of Maryland, and Harvard University. He is currently the Fannie Hurst Professor of Poetry at Brandeis University.


Praised by Harold Bloom and many other critics and poets for his earlier collections, Henri Cole has grown steadily in poetic stature and importance. "To write what is human, not escapist," is his endeavor. Now he pursues his aim by folding autobiography and memory into the thirty severe and fiercely truthful lyrics--poems presenting a constant tension between classical repose and the friction of life--that make up this exuberant book.

On being awarded the Rome Fellowship in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Henri Cole received the following citation:

"In a poetry nervously alive to the maladies of the contemporary, yet suffused by a rare apprehension of the delights of the senses, Henri Cole has relished the world while being unafraid to satirize it. In poems that are both decorative and plain-spoken he permits his readers to share a keen and unsentimental view of the oddities, horrors, and solaces surrounding them at the end of the twentieth century."


"Henri Cole amerged as an authentic poet in his last book, The Look of Things, a volume worthy of its Stevensian title. His new book, The Visible Man, after many readings, persuades me that Cole will be a central poet of his generation. The tradition of Wallace Stevens and of Hart Crane is beautifully extended in The Visible Man, particularly in the magnificent sequence 'Apollo.' Keats and Hart Crane are presences here, and Henri Cole invokes them with true austhetic dignity, which is the mark of nearly every poem in The Visible Man."
--Harold Bloom