Poetry Book Society Recommendation
Dan Chiasson has been hailed in America as ‘one of the most gifted young poets of his generation’ (Frank Bidart). This book – his first to be published in Britain – brings together poems from his first two US collections, The Afterlife of Objects (2002) and Natural History (2005), along with more recent work. His later collection, Where's the Moon, There's the Moon, was published by Bloodaxe in 2010.
The Afterlife of Objects is a kind of dreamed autobiography in which the enigmas of an individual mind become universal puzzles. Natural History takes its inspiration from Pliny’s encyclopaedic Historia Naturalis, suggesting that a person is like a world, full of mysteries and wonders – and equally in need of a compendium of everything known.
‘Dan Chiasson has succeeded in writing the poetry many of his generation aim for: free-swinging, gorgeous in phrase, bold in imagination, athletic in movement…the imagination is an organ of perception, a means of feeling’ – Robert Pinsky
‘Dan Chiasson is a wilfully literary poet – one who invokes (and impersonates) writers both classic and modern, meditates on the function of poetry, plays self-consciously with voice and toys shamelessly with time. Yet he can also lay down a clean, unadorned lyric line…There is something serious behind the literary shenanigans – an ambition to write larger than any one self stirs the book to life’ – Kay Ryan, New York Times Book Review
‘Like Emerson’s “transparent eyeball” or that of Pliny, Dan Chiasson’s gaze is curious, friendly, and unassumingly all-encompassing. Like William James (another mentor), his distinctions are smooth and profound and capable of sudden crescendos of meaning that are heartbreaking in their intensity’ – John Ashbery
Dan Chiasson reads 'Hide and Seek'
Dan Chiasson reads his sequence 'Hide and Seek' from his new Bloodaxe collection Where's the Moon, There's the Moon. This is an extract from a longer film by Pamela Robertson-Pearce of Dan Chiasson reading a selection of poems from different books to be included in a future DVD-anthology from Bloodaxe. He was filmed at home in Sudbury, near Boston, Massachusetts, in September 2008.
North America: University of Chicago Press / Knopf