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Selected Poems | Bloodaxe Books

Thomas Lux

Selected Poems

Thomas Lux

Publication Date : 19 Nov 2014

ISBN: 9781780371153

Pages: 65
Size :216 x 138mm
Rights: World

After starting out as a neo-surrealist American poet in the 1970s, Thomas Lux 'drifted away from surrealism and the arbitrariness of all that. I got more interested in subjects, identifiable subjects other than my own angst or ennui.' The later Lux writes more directly in response to more familiar but no less strange human experience, creating a body of work that is at once simple and complex, wildly imaginative and totally relevant. He uses humour or satire 'to help combat the darkness… to make the reader laugh - and then steal that laugh, right out of the throat. Because I think life is like that, tragedy right alongside humour.'

Each of Lux's multi-faceted poems is self-contained, whether it is musing or ranting, lamenting or lambasting, first person personal or first person universal. 'Usually, the speaker of my poems is a little agitated,' says Lux, 'a little smart-ass, a little angry, satirical, despairing. Or, sometimes he's goofy, somewhat elegiac, full of praise and gratitude.'

‘…Lux’s characteristic strengths: a mixture of poignancy, humour, the sort of detail that makes his best work tonally complex and emotionally strong, as well as inviting in its skilful use of sound, imagery, line, stanza – mostly some form of conversational free verse – and a diction that is, in Marianne Moore’s words, “plain American which cats and dogs can read”.’ – Beverley Bie Brahic, Guardian

‘Bloodaxe, which today has probably the country’s most exciting international list, also publishes the American Thomas Lux’s Selected Poems. Lux, relatively neglected in the UK hitherto, is a wonderful, ardent and emotionally intelligent poet. Somewhere – but a long way, after Raymond Carver – his poems are urgent with human difficulty, and with understanding.’ – Fiona Sampson, Independent (Poetry Books of the Year)


Thomas Lux reads from his Selected Poems

Thomas Lux died in February 2017, aged 70. Neil Astley filmed him reading his poems and talking about his life and work in November 2014 at Snape Maltings, Suffolk, where he was performing at Aldeburgh Poetry Festival. This film includes nine poems from his Selected Poems: ‘Wife Hits Moose’, ‘A Little Tooth’, ‘The People of the Other Village’, ‘An Horatian Notion’, ‘“I Love You Sweatheart”’, ‘Refrigerator, 1957’, ‘Cucumber Fields Crossed by High-Tension Wires’, ‘Plague Victims Catapulted Over Walls into Besieged City’ and ‘Tarantulas on the Lifebuoy’. It is one of 50 videos included in the DVD-anthology In Person: World Poets, filmed and edited by Pamela Robertson-Pearce and Neil Astley (Bloodaxe Books, May 2017).



Related News & Publicity

News & Publicity

Thomas Lux (1946-2017)

Thomas Lux (1946-2017)

We are very saddened by the news of Thomas Lux's death

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