Published in Laughlin’s centenary year, The Collected Poems of James Laughlin 1935-1997 encompasses in one majestic volume all the poetry (with the exception of his verse memoirs, Byways) written by the publisher-poet. Witty, technically brilliant, slyly satiric, and heartbreakingly poignant, Laughlin charted his own poetic course for over six decades, prompting astonishment and joy in fellow poets.
Compiled and edited by Peter Glassgold, Laughlin’s chosen poetry editor, The Collected Poems includes more than 1250 poems—from the early lyrics written in Laughlin’s signature “typewriter” metrics, to the “long-line” poems of his later years, to the playful antics of his doppelgänger Hiram Handspring, to the trenchant commentary of the five-line pentastichs that occupied his last days. Despite all the awards and accolades that James Laughlin received for his service to literature, the honor that pleased him most was his election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1996)—as a poet.
New York: New Directions, 2014