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Russell Edson
RUSSELL EDSON
TWO OF AMERICA'S
LEADING POETS


December 6, 2005
(Tuesday)
4:15 p.m. Seminar
Humanities 354
8:00 p.m. Reading
Recital Hall, PAC
UAlbany Uptown Campus
Sydney Lea
SYDNEY LEA

The Rooster's WifeThe tormented MirrorRussell Edson is widely considered to be America's leading author of prose poetry, a form he has practiced for more than four decades.

     "an American master, Surrealist comic genius, and magician of metaphor and imagination." - Academy of American Poets on Poets.org
His poems, praised for wit, wordplay, and wild originality, typically plunge ordinary individuals into bizarre situations.

His newest collection, "The Rooster's Wife" (2005), features a variety of short, precise, absurd, and surreal poems about animals and humans: two old men perform autopsies on one another; a woman stirs a pot with the tail of a dog; men go fishing for mermaids to wed; a rat attempts to hide inside an old woman; and a man dresses in lingerie to amuse his cat.

"An Edson prose poem, however amusing and ridiculous--however jokelike--it may be, is disturbing…. Laughter never blunts the edges of Edson's elegantly maculate conceptions." - "Booklist"
Edson's nineteen volumes of poetry include "The Tormented Mirror" (2001), "The Tunnel: Selected Poems" (1994), "The Wounded Breakfast" (1985), "The Intuitive Journey and Other Works" (1976), "The Clam Theater" (1973), and "The Very Thing That Happens" (1964).


Ghost PainHunting the Whole Way Home

Sydney Lea is celebrated for plainspoken narrative poetry that presents the lives and voices of ordinary people. "Ghost Pain" (2005), his newest collection, explores the hearts and private miseries of rural New Englanders, and features the Pushcart Prize-winning poem, "Wonder: Red Beans and Ricely."

"a quiet stunner." - The "Library Journal" on "Ghost Pain"

"It's a remarkable book, which takes his work to a new level." - Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Stephen Dunn

Lea was a finalist for the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for "Pursuit of a Wound" (2000), a collection that seeks meaning, and even redemptive beauty, in various tragedies, including the deaths of friends and strangers.

"weaves a close, intricate picture best described as the New England of his own mind. . . . Lea is a fine regional poet, in the same sense that Frost was first and foremost a poet of place." - "Publishers Weekly"

Lea's poetry collections include "To the Bone: New and Selected Poems" (1996), a co-winner of the Poet's Prize, "Prayer for the Little City" (1990), and "Searching the Drowned Man" (1980). The founder and long-time editor of "The New England Review," Lea is the past recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Fulbright Foundations. He is also the author of essays on morally responsible hunting and dog-training, some of which are collected in "Hunting the Whole Way Home" (1995).