Robert Hass

presents A Little Book on Form: An Exploration Into the Formal Imagination of Poetry, a rousing reexamination of our most enduring mode of literature from one of our greatest living poets, who "writes prose every bit as zestful, penetrating, and sure-footed as his poetry."--Booklist

Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 7:30pm

From the former U.S. Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winner, an illuminating dissection of poetic form, traditional and modern, for students, enthusiasts, and newcomers alike.

In addition to his magisterial poetry, Robert Hass is beloved for his incisive, meditative criticism. A Little Book on Form takes up the central contradiction between poetry as genre and the poetics of the imagination. A wealth of vocabulary exists with which to talk about, map, and explain poetry in rigorous formal terms. But the more intuitive, creative aspects of a poet's work and processes are more elusive: if the most interesting parts of form are those expressive, essential gestures inside it, how can we come to a better understanding of form as passion, as art?

A Little Book on Form brilliantly synthesizes Hass's formidable gifts as both a poet and a critic. In suggestive, informal notes, Hass breaks down the idea of a poem to its barest building blocks, from the one line haiku to the villanelle and sonnet. His approach singularly employs postmodern perspectives on shape, thought, feeling, content, and movement, calling on Catullus and Allen Ginsberg, Issa and Czeslaw Milosz. Begun as a project for students of poetry, A Little Book is anything but--Hass investigates the ancient roots of the poetic impulse, taking a wide-ranging look at the most intense experience of human thought and feeling in language.

Robert Hass's poetry volumes include The Apple Trees at Olema, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Time and MaterialsSun Under WoodHuman WishesPraise, and Field Guide, selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Younger Poets Series. Hass also co-translated several volumes of poetry with Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz and authored or edited several other volumes of translation, including Nobel Laureate Tomas Transtromer's Selected Poems and The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa. His essay collection, Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry, received the National Book Critics Circle Award. Hass served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997 and as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. He lives in California with his wife, poet Brenda Hillman, and teaches at UC Berkeley.

Event address: 
2904 College Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
A Little Book on Form: An Exploration Into the Formal Imagination of Poetry Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780062332424
Availability: Most titles are on our shelves or avaialble within 1-2 days
Published: Ecco Press - April 4th, 2017

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