Zoom Blog

Topics containing 'Robert Gibbons' tag

Animated Landscape by Robert Gibbons Reviewed

 

Robert Gibbons, Animated Landscape, BlazeVox, 2016, 146 pp, $16.

Speaking recently at the Gloucester Writers Center, poet and Olson scholar Don Byrd advised poets who are inspired by Charles Olson not to attempt to follow him because Olson was uniquely unfollowable. Rather, Byrd said, they should attempt to move beyond Olson with their own work, as the poet himself had done with respect to his own masters, Pound and Williams.  

Among poets who have learned from Olson while forging their own unique path, Robert Gibbons stands out. Though widely published and admired among poets, scholars of poetry, critics, and curators of contemporary art, Robert Gibbons has been less known to discerning readers of new American poetry. This is about to change with the publication by BlazeVox of Animated Landscape, Gibbon’s major new collection of poems. Those who care about the life of poetry in a time when there are many MFAs in verse but fewer poets who appeal directly to the human condition should attend to what Richard Deming calls Gibbons’ “universal and inclusive vision.”  

Gibbons’ poetry is informed not only by the crucial texts he’s read and internalized—Kristeva, Davenport, Olson himself— but also by the music and visual art that has animated his life and work—the jazz of Coltrane, the inventions of Bach, the paintings of Clyfford Still (about whom he has written incisively in Olson/Still: Crossroad)—along with the walks he has taken daily in the places he’s lived—Gloucester, MA, Salem, Washington, DC, Boston, Portland, ME, and now Denver—bringing them to life and into his pages through conversations with those he has encountered going about their daily business, as Gibbons has gone about his as both secret sharer and astute observer. His is a poetry that is as intensely lived as it is informed by a poised intelligence; a poetry of the heart and mind, where intellect and feeling do not conflict but, instead, fuse into incandescence, as Gibbons writes: “where senses reach an/intoxicated height, where air alone is/magic, silence music, touch between/us dispelling all dread.” 

Read the whole review here

Read more »

Animated Landscape by Robert Gibbons Now Available!

 


Robert Gibbons (Salem, MA, 1946) is one of the great secrets of contemporary US poetry. Gibbons says that Animated Landscape is the collection he was destined to write. One hopes too that it’s the collection destined to reveal him to a wider circle of readers. It places him firmly in the tradition of modern US poetry, following Olson, Creeley and the Objectivists, and alongside some of the best contemporary Anglophone poets, like Jean Sprackland, and great poets writing today in Spanish, like Cristian Aliaga and Sergio Raimondi. —Ben Bollig, Professor of Spanish American Literature, Oxford University


Robert Gibbons’s new collection of poems lays bare the vast expanse of human history as a widening landscape of the most august imagination. Gibbons, a born maximalist, carries Charles Olson’s excavations into the present tense, but does so in his own measure of music, personal and specific, yet universal and inclusive. Animated Landscape never forgets history is not a then, but always now, always all around us. —Richard Deming, Director of Creative Writing, Yale University


The Animated Landscape that is Robert Gibbons' concern in these dazzling poems stretches from the Pleistocene to the present, from prehistoric images of human and animal presence to the work of contemporary painters, poets, and jazz musicians. If there is a poet in America possessed of a broader vision, I have not encountered him or her. Gibbons' stereoscopic vision, which he has kept faith with across eighteen books, is nothing less than the quest for a metaphysics, centered on the experience of time, by which we might be restored to wholeness. He wants to acknowledge the "uncoiling scroll of brutal force, horned/ weapon, testeronic origin of energy, not syntax" as he writes of the prehistoric painting of a bull at Altimira. He is not content with mere emblems or images of the life-force; he wants to understand the ways that both the erotic and destructive issue in the present, in our own historical moment, in our lives. —Richard Hoffman, former Chairman of PEN New England


Animated Landscape is a revelation. Like Marsden Hartley with his painted mountains or John Marin with his written seas, Robert Gibbons, through the mastery of his own medium, reminds us that writing and painting (and sculpture and architecture and music) move in the same way, are part of the same topography, share the same substance, are the same thing. His passages carry us along many paths and lines of thought to the essential places where stone is stone, water is water, and art is art. All the while Gibbons kindly suggests, to borrow a favorite phrase from the polymath Guy Davenport, that the "geography of the imagination" is boundless. -Charles Brock, Associate Curator for American and British Paintings, National Gallery of Art


In Robert Gibbons' new collection Animated Landscape there is much that brings the pleasure of familiarity to one who knows his previous work: the obsession with art in all its forms from cave paintings to abstract expressionism; the love of the flow and beat of music from Bach to Coltrane; the erudition that springs from his knowing literature, especially poetry, and the heritage of critical thinking that has travelled intertwined with literature for centuries. —Bent Sørensen, Associate Professor of English, Aalborg University, Denmark

Robert Gibbons is the author of nine books of poetry, numerous chapbooks, and a unique study of the affinities in approaches to art in language by Charles Olson and that of Clyfford Still in paint: Olson/Still: Crossroad. In 2006 he was awarded a John Anson Kittredge Fund grant to travel and read his work at the Poetry & Politics Conference at the University of Stirling, Scotland. There, he met Ben Bollig, now at Oxford, who recorded the meeting online writing that, “he is the most passionate advocate of poetry I have met.” National Book Award Finalist, William Heyen, calls Gibbons “one of the great writers of our time.” In 2013, after publishing his Trilogy of prose poems, This Time, Traveling Companion, and To Know Others, Various & Free, the poet was invited to give the Creative Keynote address, titled Kerouac & the Ecstatic Act of Writing, at the 2nd annual European Beat Studies Conference held at Aalborg University, Denmark. For the past 12 years he’s lived and worked in Portland, Maine. Former chairman of PEN New England, Richard Hoffman, wrote, “Gibbons is in the process of sacralizing Portland, lodging it in the imagination of readers, as Williams did for Paterson, Cafavy for Alexandria, Joyce for Dublin.”

Book Information:

· Paperback: 146 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-257-0

$16

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Animated Landscape by Robert Gibbons Book Preview

Read more »

Extra Pages

Photos on flickr