Sunday, April 29, 2007


So here's what you've all been asking about:

The Poem of a Life: A Biography of Louis Zukofsky
has been in progress since 1998. It is a full-length critical biography of Zukofsky, covering the whole of his life and taking note of his writings in all genres. It incorporates the findings of many hundreds of hours of archival research among manuscripts & correspondence, & draws upon numerous interviews with Zukofsky's fellow poets, his students, & his family members. The book as a whole clocks in just a little short of 600 pages; I'm not sure precisely how much short, since I haven't yet generated the index – which will be comprehensive, scrupulous, & highly useful.

The Poem of a Life: A Biography of Louis Zukofsky is scheduled to be released in jacketed hardback, with a cover price of $30 (a bargain or what?), in early December 2007. It will be published by Shoemaker & Hoard. S&H is the latest venture of the legendary editor & publisher Jack Shoemaker, the motive force behind Sand Dollar Press (Ronald Johnson's Radi Os, Robert Duncan), the long-lived & extraordinary North Point Press (Gary Snyder, Leslie Scalapino, Michael Palmer, William Bronk, Ronald Johnson, Guy Davenport, Evan S. Connell, Wendell Berry, Stanley Cavell, Hugh Kenner, & too many others to name), and more recently Counterpoint Press (with many of the same authors, & Geoffrey Hill to boot). Jack has for 30 years been one of the major names in American independent publishing, & I'm proud that he's elected to bring out The Poem of a Life. Of course, I think he's absolutely right to do so.

So that's the news: the proofs have been corrected; the 8-page photo insert of mostly hitherto unpublished LZ-related photos has been set up; the index has yet to be generated, but once that's done there's nothing left but the waiting. As Ray points out, it's not up on Amazon yet (tho it is on the database of the Library of Congress), so I'll let you know when you can start pre-ordering the book. In the meantime, I'm gearing up to do some promotion. Chicagolanders with access to talk series or bookstore appearance scheduling – I haven't yet made any plans in re/ the next MLA, but I certainly could make it up there this December. Anybody else with open Spring lecture spots, keep me in mind – I've got a book to sell, & lots to talk about!

So if you've got a blog, by all means link to this announcement; send it out to whatever listservs might find it of interest; tell your friends & relatives; tell your professors; tell your students; put the damned thing on your holiday wish list...
(And in the interim, there's still that pesky poetry manuscript burning a hole in my hard drive...)
Recently read & recommended: Martha Ronk, In a Landscape of Having to Repeat (Omnidawn, 2004), & Carla Harryman, Baby (Adventures in Poetry, 2005).


Jessica Smith said...

I used to archive Sand Dollar stuff at the poetry library. Small world!

I'll announce this in more detail on my blog once there's a button people can click to order it. People who read my blog seem to prefer immediate gratification.

The big Anthology release party is in Chicago on New Year's Eve, if you're not otherwise occupied-- come, bring some books with you, it's a select audience (people who are poets and probably already like Zuk), I'm sure there will be interest.

Henry Gould said...

Congratlujations, Mark. I say congratlujations!

Looking forward to reading this.

Long Zlow & Steady Bearz Fruit.

Anonymous said...

Great news! Looking forward to getting hold of a copy.

Anonymous said...

no doubt now, it's heaven for you

Unknown said...

Great. Always impressive to get anything finished in this world. But I've just bought your other Zuk book, so now I have to knuckle down! :)

Anonymous said...

wow! a 600-pager on zukofsky. can't wait for the release of this book. i have actually blogged about him (and another local poet from my country Philippines) just today.

hope you won't mind if i place a link to your blog on mine (even if my blog is in Filipino). quite enjoy reading your thoughts. thanks.