The Trust

James Tate

You start with yourselfand are lucky if you everget past that. It's a processof winnowing. Say, you haveaccomplished something–a dragon, oleander or lion–but how can you know the truesalmon's touch when you cannottrust yourself alonelike this with yourself.You might call it creation,picturing a theatre, the sunhaving driven the rattlesnakesto singing. Well, thisis the beginning: what you do nextwill depend on nothing.

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James Tate was born in 1943 in Kansas City, Missouri. He earned a BA from Kansas State College and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He was the author of over 20 poetry collections, including the posthumously published The Government Lake (2018); The Ghost Soldiers (2008); Worshipful Company of Fletchers (1994), which won the National Book Award; Selected Poems (1991), which won the Pulitzer Prize and the William Carlos Williams Award; Distance from Loved Ones (1990); Constant Defender (1983); Viper Jazz (1976); and The Oblivion Ha-Ha (1970).

The poems assembled in The Trust never appeared in James Tate’s full-length collections. They are selected from four small press books, published in 1968 and 1969: Notes of Woe (Stone Wall Press), The Torches (Unicorn Press), Row with Your Hair (Kayak Press), Shepherds of the Mist (Black Sparrow Press).

Edition of 200 copies.Handset and printed letterpress in Sabon. Sewn and bound by hand. Letterpress printing and bookbinding by The Brother In Elysium.

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