Brad Leithauser is the author of five collections of poetry, six novels, a novel in verse, two collections of light verse, and a book of essays. Among the many awards and honors he has received are a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Foundation Grant, and a MacArthur Fellowship. He served for a year as Time magazine's theater critic. He is a professor in the writing seminars at Johns Hopkins University and divides his time between Baltimore, Maryland, and Amherst, Massachusetts. (Author photo by Michael Lionstar)
From one of our most universally admired poets: a generous selection from his five acclaimed books of poetry, and an outstanding group of new poems.
From the outset, Brad Leithauser has displayed a venturesome taste for quirky patterns, innovative designs sprung loose from traditional forms. In The Oldest Word for Dawn, we encounter a sonnet in one-syllable lines (“Post-Coitum Tristesse”), a clanging rhyme-mad tribute to the music of Tin Pan Alley (“A Good List”), intricate buried rhyme schemes (“In Minako Wada’s House”), autobiography spun through parodies of Frost and Keats and Omar Khayyám (“Two Summer Jobs”).
The Oldest Word for Dawn reveals Brad Leithauser as a poet of surpassing tenderness and exactitude, a poet whose work, at sixty, fulfills the promise noted by James Merrill on the publication of his first book: “The observations glisten, the feelings ring true. These poems by a young, unostentatious craftsman are made to something very like perfection. No one should overlook them.”The Oldest Word for Dawn
Alfred A. Knopf