Carcanet Press
Quote of the Day
I'm filled with admiration for what you've achieved, and particularly for the hard work and the 'cottage industry' aspect of it.
Fleur Adcock

The Dream of the Unified Field

Selected Poems

Jorie Graham

Cover Picture of The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems
RRP: GBP£ 14.95
Discount: 10%
You Save: GBP£ 1.50

Price: GBP£ 13.45
Available Add to basket
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857542 25 7
Categories: 20th Century, American, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: March 1996
215 x 130 x 11 mm
220 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • I dig my hands into the absolute. The surface breaks
    into shingled, grassed clusters; lifts.
    If I press, pick-in with fingers, pluck,
    I can unfold the loam. It is tender. It is a tender
    manoeuvre, hands making and unmaking promises.
    Diggers, forgetters: A series of successive single instances;
    Frames of reference moving;
    The speed of light, down here, upthrown, in my hands:
    bacteria, milky roots, pilgrimages of spores, deranged and rippling
    mosses.

    from 'The Visible World'

    Jorie Graham's poetry insists that 'the visible world' exists: but what is its existence? Beyond the merely subjective, the merely lyric, she ventures with philosophical rigour into an area 'saturated with phenomena', in Helen Vendler's phrase, a place of shifting perspectives, abrupt changes, sometimes vertiginous in their reversals, but always moving towards possible celebration.

    Those who argue that poetry and science are at each other's throats will find here a poetry which brings together in tense equilibrium science, philosophy and history. This is a new kind of narrative, offering forms which are open and full of possibility. Graham's is an inclusive art which takes big risks. John Ashbery describes her 'utterance that swings with the conviction of Blake's, that one does not want to stop listening to. She is one of the finest poets writing today.'
    Jorie Graham was born in New York City in 1950, the daughter of a journalist and a sculptor. She was raised in Rome, Italy and educated in French schools. She studied philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris before attending New York University as an undergraduate, where she studied filmmaking. She received ... read more
    Awards won by Jorie Graham Commended, 2017 Poetry Book Society Recommendation.
    (Fast)
    Winner, 1996 Pulitzer Prize
    (The Dream of the Unified Field)
    Short-listed, 2012 T S Eliot Prize (P L A C E) Short-listed, 2012 Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection (P L A C E)
    Praise for Jorie Graham  'Fast might immerse us in monstrous acts of environmental and political violence, our obsession with progress, money, and our own individualistic, virtual worlds, but what still succeeds is the wish to live on. Perhaps if we were to listen to that wish we might, amongst all the acceleration, stop and think again.'
    - The London Magazine


    'We should be grateful to Jorie Graham for her own heroics of perception, even if they show up our ordinary insight. If we can't see, with Graham, "the spots where the birds must eventually land", at least we know now where we should be looking.'
    Gwyneth Lewis, Times Literary Supplement.
    'Graham's best book in at least a decade.'
    Publishers Weekly
     'The poems in Jorie Graham's Sea Change might look unapproachable but they are models of clarity and purity.'
    Nicola Smyth, 'Books of the Year', the Independent, 28 December 2008
    'One of the finest poets writing today.'
    John Ashbery
    'She is among the most important poets in North American literature today.'
    Peyton Brien, University of Toronto, 1995
    'Jorie Graham is a poet of staggering intelligence.'
    James Tate
     'There is a buoyancy in Graham's poetry, a freshness of vision which is rare in contemporary poetry.'
    Roger Caldwell, Times Literary Supplement, 27th June 2003
     'After each new book by Graham, I wonder what she will do next. Her courage in remaking her style over the years is exemplary... to read under Graham's powerful impetus is to have one's consciousness, like molten glass, pulled into unforeseen - and sometimes almost unbearable - shapes.'
    Helen Vendler, London Review of Books, 23rd January 2003
      '...one of our most highly imaginative and innovative poets. Her speculative and sensual poetry echoes an aesthetic and cultural past but is, truly, like nothing we've seen before.'
    David St. John, The Los Angeles Times, 1996
     'There are erotic poems, elegiac poems, and there are dauntingly difficult, allusive and even impenetrable poems. Throughout there is a powerful, engaging intelligence and an affirming lyric grace.'
    Stephen Matterson on The Errancy, in Poetry Ireland Review, vol. 62
     'Like all good poets, she illuminates moments, but she is like no one else, neither in her rhythms, nor in her insistence on opening up, scrutinizing, and even reversing our experience of time and space within these moments.'
    Stephen Burt, Times Literary Supplement, 17th May 1996
     'Graham shows us a future direction in American poetry, and that future is a welcome place.'
    The Harvard Review
     'A mesmerising American voice; one wants to hear its continuation.'
    Helen Vendler, The New Yorker
You might also be interested in:
Cover of The Taken-Down God
The Taken-Down God Jorie Graham
Cover of Quick Question
Quick Question John Ashbery
Cover of Odd Blocks
Odd Blocks Kay Ryan
Share this...
The Carcanet Blog 50 years after the death of Vernon Watkins read more Nadine Gordimer Memorial Lecture read more ILL FARES THE LAND read more Between Survival and Extinction read more Promoting poetry through public engagement read more The Acquaintance of a True Dustie-Fute read more
Arts Council Logo
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2017 Carcanet Press Ltd