"[Lux is] sui generis, his own kind of poet, unlike any of the fashions of his time." - Stanley Kunitz Thomas Lux is humorous, edgy, and ever surprising in The Cradle Place, his tenth collection of verse. These fifty-two poems question language and intention and the sometimes untidy connections between the human and natural worlds. Lux has long ...
"[Lux is] sui generis, his own kind of poet, unlike any of the fashions of his time." - Stanley Kunitz Thomas Lux is humorous, edgy, and ever surprising in The Cradle Place, his tenth collection of verse. These fifty-two poems question language and intention and the sometimes untidy connections between the human and natural worlds. Lux has long been an outspoken advocate for the relevance of poetry in American culture, and his voice is urgent and unrelentingly evocative. As Sven Birkerts has noted, "Lux may be one of the poets on whom the future of the genre depends." "A book full of arresting images . . . The natural world, as it appears here, is at first lovely . . . but turns out dangerously vanquished . . . Not since Plath has hysteria looked this kissable." - San Francisco Chronicle "Lux has a gift for the swiftly turned expression . . . Such immediacy and quirkiness will hold a reader." - Poetry "Readers will be mesmerized." - Poetry Book of the Year, Library Journal THOMAS LUX holds the Bourne Chair in Poetry and is director of the McEver Visiting Writers Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has been awarded three NEA grants and the Kingsley Tufts Award, and is a former Guggenheim Fellow. He lives in Atlanta.
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Publishers Weekly, 2004-03-22 Witty, hard to classify and easy to enjoy, Lux alternates acid wit with off-kilter storytelling in this 10th collection of verse, the first since The Street of Clocks (2001) and only the second since a 1997 New & Selected. Lux has been known for his terse, magic-realist scene-setting (which some have compared to Charles Simic): these poems keep the odd situations but rev up the verbal music, with rapid, often lengthy lines and titles that simultaneously charm and disturb-"Debate Regarding the Permissibility of Eating Mermaids," "Can't Sleep the Clowns Will Eat Me," "The American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association" (this last turns out to be a poem about art). Lux tends to open poems with their most bizarre elements, then glide down into familiar sentiments, inviting our sympathy, denouncing his enemies, or making bleak jokes about disappointment and death: "What the maggots do/ they do for you." Standout poems often pivot on prominent factoids: "One out of eight deaths occurring in the home/ or on picnics/ is impalement related." Such arguably morbid (or chilling) themes balance out other, sweeter passages built on parents' experience raising children, or the more infantilizing aspects of everyday life: "Do nothing to further perplex the other perplexed./ We'll let you know when it's single file for lunch." (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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