Event Horizon: New & Selected Later Poems

What an extraordinary gift Robert Pack, who has blessed us with poems for the past sixty-five years, has given us in this, his most recent volume! Where to begin? Let’s begin with the strange, even unsettling title of Pack’s new volume: Event Horizon. It’s an astronomical term, it turns out, and signifies ‘a theoretical boundary around a black hole beyond which no light or other radiation can escape.’ In other words, a point of no return. And there you have it, Pack at his canniest, most quizzical, most plangent, and at the same time comic. And make no mistake: these poems will bear all those resonances and radiations out.
(From the Introduction by Paul Mariani, Professor Emeritus at Boston College)

“Robert Pack has had a long and distinguished career as a poet and critic. I’ve always admired his clear-eyed intelligence and lyrical gifts. But taking in the whole of his work, including this complete volume of late poems, I was moved in a special way. There is an urgency and equilibrium here that is stunning. Pack has imagined a late style for himself that seems frictionless, free, and sublime. Reading the final section—a whole book of new poems written as the poet approaches his nineties—I was stunned by the ease of his line, an openness and wild simplicity that reminded me of late Wallace Stevens, for whom nature became more than just a source of metaphor and symbol but, as with Pack, a central and shaping intelligence. In these late poems, subject and object merge, and the poet’s voice resonates, sounding in a wilderness that is beautiful and terrifying at the same time.”

 Jay Parini, author of New and Collected Poems,1975-2015

“Robert Pack’s new poems are a treasure. They are the ‘late new poems’ of a compassionate sensibility, a tender heart, and above all the quiet courage of a man face-to-face with the inextricability of beauty and loss. They face the now and later of mankind, animals and nature in all its forms. The voice and imagery are seductive. In ‘Call of the Lake,’ the poet asks, ‘Can human love contend with emptiness, with emptiness, with emptiness?’ Robert Pack’s long writing career shows that the answer is yes, yes and yes, even when in old age the idea of ‘now,’ means ‘in the meantime.’ These late new poems are both beautiful and wise, both heartbreaking and reassuring. One can learn from these poems how to survive.” 

Marvin Bell, author of Incarnate: The Collected Dead Man Poems


Excerpt: “College professor emeritus of English, offers us a life story in his recently published book of poetry that spans a half-century of living and thinking about what his life means.”

About the Poet

Photo by Dan Spencer

Robert Pack (born May 19, 1929, in New York City) is an American poet and critic, and Distinguished Senior Professor in the Davidson Honors College at the University of Montana—Missoula. For thirty-four years he taught at Middlebury College and from 1973 to 1995 served as director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He is the author of twenty-two books of poetry and criticism. As a fellow with the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation for many years, Pack accepted various short teaching engagements at colleges across the country. Retired from Middlebury since 1996, Pack taught for 15 years at the Honors College of University of Montana.

420 pages; Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-9505849-6-3
6 x 9  /  $21.95
Publication Date: September, 2021
Distributor: IPG/Chicago, Ingram.
Rights sold: All rights available.
Rights & PR: Dede Cummings, dede@greenwriterspress.com
Keywords: Nature, Poetry, Aging, Grief, Jewish, Vermont, Montana

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