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Edited by Michael Schmidt
ISBN: 978 1 857547 74 0
Categories: 20th Century, American, Women
Published: June 2005
216 x 135 x 15 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Truth's nature is to fill a place that belongs to it when the place becomes cleared of a usurping occupant. It slips into place, then, with a quiet of natural fitness, perfectly not-astounding in the rightness of its being there.
(Note 4, p. 149)
For Laura (Riding) Jackson, two decades of intense poetic dedication finally revealed poetry itself to be a 'usurping occupant'. It was a long time before she felt ready to publish this post-poetic testament, the book she called a 'personal evangel'. The work of a poet who renounced poetry in mid-life because it hampered the way to something further in language, The Telling stands central to her work and unique in the intellectual history of the twentieth century.
The language-quality of The Telling is distinctive; so too is the author's vision of human fulfilment as attainable through truth-speaking. The core-part of the book, in 62 numbered sections, is followed by a 'Preface for a Second Reading', and in turn by the confiding 'Some After-Speaking: Private Words'. This concentric series of extending considerations - linguistic, literary, social, spiritual - completes the book, while leaving its thought open to further exploration.
Michael Schmidt considers this rich and rewarding work in his introduction.
Awards won by Michael Schmidt Winner, 2016 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem - Sasha Dugdale's 'Joy', published in PN Review 227 (PN Review 227 )
Praise for Michael Schmidt '...probably the most informative and entertaining poetry journal in the English-speaking world.'
John Ashbery 'The most engaged, challenging and serious-minded of all the UK's poetry magazines.'
Simon Armitage 'It has attempted to take poetry out of the backwaters of intellectual life and to find in it again the crucial index of cultural health.'
Cairns Craig, Times Literary Supplement
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