Toward the Distant Islands by Hayden Carruth
New and Selected Poems

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“Carruth [is] one of the lasting literary signatures of our time.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“Carruth...contains multitudes.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Carruth is a people’s poet... a virtuoso of form.”—The Nation

This “portable Carruth” gathers new poems with the essential works from a major American poet. Included are lyrics, short narratives, comic, meditative, and erotic poems that engage politics, music, rural poverty, and the cultural responsibility of artists. As Sam Hamill writes in the introduction:

“Carruth’s great body of work is a world... Like the jazz he so loves, his poetry ranges from the formal to the spontaneous, from local vernacular to righteous oratory, from beautiful complexity to elegant understatement.”

From “A Few Dilapidated Arias”

“Our crumbling civilization”–a phrase I have used often
during recent years, in letters to friends, even in
words for public print. And what does it mean?
a civilization crumble? At once appears the image
of an old slice of bread, stale and hard, green with mold,
shaped roughly like the northeastern United States, years
old or more, so hard and foul that even my pal Maxie,
the shepherd/husky cross who eats everything, won’t
touch it. And it is crumbling, turning literally into
crumbs, as the millions of infinitesimal internal connecting
fibers sever and loosen. The dust trickles and seeps away.

Hayden Carruth, a longtime resident of Vermont, currently lives in upstate New York, where he taught at Syracuse University. His many honors include the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.


About Hayden Carruth

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Hayden Carruth is the author of twenty-five books of poetry, a novel, four books of criticism, and two anthologies, and has held fellowships from the Bollingen, Guggenheim and Lannan foundations, as well as the NEA. His many awards include the National Book Award for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Lenore Marshall/The Nation Award. Poet and translator Sam Hamill was the Founding Editor of Copper Canyon Press and is currently the Director for Poets Against War.
Published April 1, 2006 by Copper Canyon Press. 150 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Toward the Distant Islands

The New York Times

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Hayden Carruth, once a literary outsider, has won recognition for his poems of love, labor, justice, jazz and more.

Sep 10 2006 | Read Full Review of Toward the Distant Islands: N...

Publishers Weekly

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Where Carruth's individual books—even the strongest, such as the National Book Award–winning Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey (1996)—could become garrulous or repetitive, the selection here gives just enough of everything Carruth has learned, and he has learned a lot, especially about the ways and lands...

Mar 13 2006 | Read Full Review of Toward the Distant Islands: N...

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