Within the Inscribed: Selected Prose and Conversations by Michael Heller (Shearsman Books)

Tears in the Fence

This is, it must be said, a deeply intelligent and thoughtful book, of what are interviews and essays. This comes very late for Michael Heller (b1937) who has already behind him a copious collected poemsThis Constellation is a Nameand a number of significant prose volumes, including a much admired study of the Objectivist poetsConviction’s Net of Branches(1985).This comes some years after a significant volume from Salt,Uncertain Poetries(2005).There are insights to be gleaned here not only on Heller’s writing but on poetics and practice more generally.

A full appreciation of what is going on here might very well spur further essays. So in that sense this short review is bound to seem a little superficial. The book is in three parts, one more general, one geared to specific readings and a concluding ‘Coda’ of just three articles.

It is doubtless relevant and…

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