HOWARD MOSS was a poet, a critic, and the poetry editor of The New Yorker for nearly forty years. He wrote fourteen books of poetry and won the National Book Award in 1972. He died in 1987.
“What has been overlooked for too many years now is an achievement of extraordinary proportions. Howard Moss’s career unfolded in surprising ways. In eleven books over forty years, he transformed the urbane but astringent lyricism of his early work into a style more refined, darkened, and humane. Without sacrificing the wit and rhythmic finesse that marked his poetry from the start, he came to write with a more searching complexity or with a more startling simplicity, as his subject demanded. Everywhere his poems speak eloquently of the wounds of experience, the weather of the spirit. The distance between dream and mind, or between survivor and ghost, the longing of settled habit for unsettling doubts, or of love for dissolution—these are the precarious states he charted with an uncanny accuracy. Trace these margins yourselves in the pages of this book, and discover a lone figure walking into the horizon, into a place among the permanent American poets.”—J. D. McClatchy, from the Introduction