Hayden Carruth (1921–2008) lived for many years in northern Vermont, then moved to upstate New York, where he taught in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University. He won the 1996 National Book Award for Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey, and his Collected Shorter Poems, 1946-1991 received the 1992 National Book Critics Circle Award. He served as the editor of Poetry, poetry editor of Harper's, and for twenty-five years an advisory editor of The Hudson Review. The Bollingen, Guggenheim, and Lannan Foundations, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts, awarded fellowships to Carruth.
Hayden Carruth’s Last Poems is a tender and fearless volume that combines the poems written toward the end of his life with the concluding poems from twenty-six of his previous volumes. Throughout his career and until the time of his death in 2008, Carruth was writing a morally engaged poetry unlike any in American literature. As this volume demonstrates, he always remained unafraid to face the sufferings of the self while celebrating the dignity of others. In his final, posthumously published poems, Carruth directly confronts his own failing body as well as the global injustices that haunted his writing for six decades. With essays by Stephen Dobyns and Brooks Haxton, Last Poems is a moving tribute to a towering and beloved figure in American poetry.
“Hayden Carruth’s voice is unique in American poetry: disarmingly personal but always informed by an acute historical and political intelligence.”
—National Book Award Citation
“In his literary career, Hayden Carruth has been as resourceful and steadfast as the Vermont hill farmers he lived among for many years. He is a people’s poet, readily understood, a tribune of our common humanity, welfare, and plight. He is also a poet’s poet, a virtuoso of form from the sonnet to free verse, from medieval metrics to jazz ones.”
Copper Canyon Press