2014 National Book Award Longlist, Poetry


Collected Poems by Mark StrandMark Strand, photo credit Sarah Shatz

Collected Poems

Alfred A. Knopf/ Random House

ISBN: 978-0385352512


Gathered here is a half century’s work by the former poet laureate of the United States and Pulitzer Prize winner whose haunting and exemplary style has influenced an entire generation of American poets.

Beginning with the limited-edition volume Sleeping with One Eye Open, published in 1964, Mark Strand was hailed as a poet of piercing originality and elegance, and in the ensuing decades he has not swerved from his vision of how a poem should be shaped and what it should deliver. As he entered the middle period of his career, with volumes such as The Continuous Life, Strand was already well known for his ability to capture the subtle music of consciousness, and for creating painterly physical landscapes that could answer to the inner self: “And here the dark infinitive to feel, / Which would endure and have the earth be still / And the star-strewn night pour down the mountains / Into the hissing fields and silent towns.” In his later work, from Blizzard of One, which won the Pulitzer Prize, through the sly, provocative riddles of his recent Almost Invisible, Strand has delighted in reminding us that there is no one poet quite like him for a dose of dark wit that turns out to be deep wisdom and self-deprecation.


A Finalist in 1971 and 1981 for the National Book Award for Poetry, Mark Strand is the author of many books of poems, a book of stories, and three volumes of translations, and he is the editor of several anthologies. He has received many honors and awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship, the Pulitzer Prize, the Bollingen Prize, and the Gold Medal for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1990, he was appointed poet laureate of the United States.


Photo credit: Sarah Shatz