Steve Carey had the loveliest poetry voice I’ve ever encountered. When Steve sat down to write, all negativity dropped away and there was nothing left but this awed, shaping, most musical voice, informed by the negative in life and in his own character, but flying gently above it. Read this selection of his poems and hear the sound of his impartial—outside school or faction (nowhere but the present)—love of the art.
Steve Carey’s Selected Poems reminds you he’s been here all the time. Poems of oxymoronic elan, motility with inertia, the heartfelt and the facetious, the sweet and the defensively tart. He reserves the right, occasionally, to step in and out of role. His diction is exacting and his writerly stance is up to any date. A fellow-traveling Zen monk, he sees first his own world, and then the world, with intellect and irony. He’s on the map—you could look it up.
Steve Carey was born in Washington, D.C., in 1945 and published seven collections of poetry before his death in 1989. “Steve,” an essay on his life and writing, can be found in Alice Notley’s Coming After: Essays on Poetry. The Selected Poems of Steve Carey is the first book in over twenty years to make Carey’s work widely available.
Edited by Edmund Berrigan.