A world of poems as populous and diverse as it is ephemeral and evanescent, born of the world and of books and art in equal measure, yielding granite truths and feather truths of people’s roller-coaster lives. The poet looks back, facing life and death and everything in between with equanimity, holding a steady hand to the quivering breast wherever there is breath.
Published in The New Yorker, La Nouvelle Revue Franæºise, and in nearly a hundred magazines and poetry journals from Los Angeles to Tokyo, from Lawrence, Kansas to Rome, Madrid, Paris, London, Beijing, and Bucharest, poems by Barry Gifford have been describing and changing our world for nearly half a century. Here in one volume for the first time is the poet’s own choices from his nine previous collections, as well as a rich selection of new poems. Imagining Paradise sums up the tremendous achievement of an underground poet who lasted.