National Book Award winner Arthur Sze is a master poet, and The Glass Constellation is a triumph spanning five decades, including ten poetry collections and twenty-six new poems. Sze began his career writing compressed, lyrical poems influenced by classical Chinese poetry; he later made a leap into powerful polysemous sequences, honing a distinct stylistic signature that harnesses luminous particulars, and is sharply focused, emotionally resonant, and structurally complex. Fusing elements of Chinese, Japanese, Native American, and various Western experimental traditions―employing startling juxtapositions that are always on target, deeply informed by concern for our endangered planet and troubled species―Arthur Sze presents experience in all its multiplicities, in singular book after book. This collection is an invitation to immerse in a visionary body of work, mapping the evolution of one of our finest American poets.
“The recognition was long overdue when Sze won the 2019 National Book Award for his previous book, Sight Lines. This 500-page, career spanning retrospective is a fitting follow up, allowing readers to take in the full breadth of what Sze has achieved over ten collections published since the early 1970s. There are so many kinds of poems here, and so many truly extraordinary ones… This book is an overwhelming feast, a treasure, and more than enough proof that Sze is a major poet.” —Craig Morgan Teicher, NPR
“In the case of poet Arthur Sze, ‘master’ is no misnomer… Sze as poet has been continually searching for new ways of making poetry alive, to make way for the breathing infrastructure of the poem in all its fragility and rigor. As a result of his dynamic poetic efforts, the map of human consciousness will have grown more detailed.” —Kyoto Journal Review
As featured in:
NPR, “Glimmers of Hope: A 2021 Poetry Preview”