Winner of the 2013 Green Rose Prize
Reading the haunted, masterful poems of Ralph Angel is like being gently dropped into the ever-fluctuating substance of the day. The temperature is around 70 degrees. One could be in a languorous painting, riding this brushstroke and then the next, or just as easily, in a room somewhere, in LA, Seattle, Amsterdam, the Mediterranean . . . on a train, in a plaza. Eventually the treacherous crevices and schisms arrive, where, everyday, we break down. All the guilt, pain, beauty, love and loathing of being alive is populated by figures who speak, speak back, and then through an omniscient, doubtful and pained visionary. This isYour Moon. It truly is. “Of human unfinished. / The spirit in time.”
Ralph Angel possesses what every poet dreams of—a warm heart and a cold eye—and all of his poems have a foothold between Everything and Nothing, the place each of us lives in day in and day out, though we seldom recognize or admit it the way these poems do. Many of them unfold like a ravishing film to which a voice-over adds such haunting commentary we are surprised to reach the end and realize we have been reading. His vernacular arrests me. A thread of wild and somber beauty runs through this book by one of America’s most original poets.
Ralph Angel is the author of five books of poetry: Your Moon;Exceptions and Melancholies: Poems 1986-2006 (2007 PEN USA Poetry Award); Twice Removed; Neither World (James Laughlin Award of The Academy of American Poets); and Anxious Latitudes; as well as a translation of the Federico García Lorca collection, Poema del cante jondo / Poem of the Deep Song.
His poems have appeared in scores of magazines and anthologies, both here and abroad, and recent literary awards include a gift from the Elgin Cox Trust, a Pushcart Prize, a Gertrude Stein Award, the Willis Barnstone Poetry Translation Prize, a Fulbright Foundation fellowship and the Bess Hokin Award of the Modern Poetry Association.
Mr. Angel is Edith R. White Distinguished Professor at the University of Redlands, and a member of the MFA in Writing faculty at Vermont College of
Fine Arts. Originally from Seattle, he lives in Los Angeles.
Bright Example Read by Ralph Angel
Video by Adriane Little
Publication of this book and production of this video were made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
To find out more about how NEA grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov