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George Oppen, gentlest of men... prized what took time, found the grain of materials, exacted accuracy.

—Hugh Kenner

George Oppen

20th Century American Poet

George Oppen (1908–1984) was born in New Rochelle, New York. He was best known as one of the members of the Objectivist group of poets. He abandoned poetry in the 1930s for political activism, and later moved to Mexico to avoid the attentions of the House Un-American Activities Committee. He returned to poetry—and to the United States—in 1958, and received a Pulitzer Prize for his work in 1969.

21 Poems

Poetry by George Oppen

Edited by David B. Hobbs

The Objectivist Press published George Oppen’s first book, Discrete Series, in 1934. Four years earlier, the twenty-one-year-old poet had sent an unbound sheaf of typewritten poems with the title 21 Poems handwritten in pencil on the first page to Louis Zukofsky, who forwarded them on to Ezra Pound in Paris. These poems, suffused with Oppen’s love for his young bride Mary, as well as his love of sailing, are strikingly unique. The scholar David B. Hobbs recently found 21 Poems buried in Pound’s papers at Yale’s Beinecke Library, and it appears here as a collection for the first time.

New Collected Poems of George Oppen

Poetry by George Oppen

Edited by Eliot Weinberger
with a contribution by Michael Davidson and Eliot Weinberger

George Oppen’s New Collected Poems gathers in one volume all of the poet’s books published in his lifetime (1908–84), as well as his previously uncollected poems and a selection of his unpublished work. Oppen, whose writing was championed by Ezra Pound when it was first published by The Objectivist Press in the 1930s, has become one of America’s most admired poets. In 1969 he won a Pulitzer Prize for his collection Of Being Numerous, which The New Yorker recently said is “unmatched by any book of American poetry since.” The New Collected Poems is edited by Michael Davidson of the University of California at San Diego, who also writes an introduction about the poet’s life and work and supplies generous notes that will give interested readers an understanding of the background of the individual books as well as keys to references in the poems. The award-winning essayist and translator Eliot Weinberger offers a personal remembrance of the poet in his preface, “Oppen Then.” This newly revised paperback edition also includes a generous CD of the poet reading from each of his poetry collections.

Selected Poems of George Oppen

Poetry by George Oppen

George Oppen’s Selected Poems offers a selection of Oppen’s poetry from all his books published during his lifetime. Hailed by Ezra Pound as "a serious craftsman," long overlooked by the establishment, and now revered as one of America’s most important poets, George Oppen has left a remarkable window into a world of lasting light and clarity. The Selected Poems is edited by Robert Creeley, one of our most respected contemporary poets, who also provides an informative introduction. In addition, this volume includes Oppen’s only known essay, "A Mind’s Own Place"; "Twenty-Six Fragments" Oppen scribbled on envelopes and scraps of paper found posted on his wall after his death, edited by Stephen Cope; as well as a chronology and bibliography put together by Rachel Blau DuPlessis, celebrated editor of Oppen’s letters. On his death in 1984, Hugh Kenner wrote, "George Oppen, gentlest of men...prized what took time, found the grain of materials, exacted accuracy."

Collected Poems of George Oppen

Poetry by George Oppen

First published in 1975, and available now as a New Directions Paperbook, George Oppen’s Collected Poems brings together the work of one of our foremost contemporary poets, winner of the 1969 Pulitzer Prize. A member of the Objectivist school that flourished in the 1930s (which also included William Carlos Williams, Charles Reznikoff, Carl Rakosi, and Louis Zukofsky), he was hailed by Ezra Pound as "a serious craftsman, a sensibility which is not every man’s sensibility and which has not been got out of any other man’s books." Contained in the present volume are Oppen’s late poems, Myth of the Blaze (1972-1975), as well as all of Discrete Series (1934), The Materials (1962), This in Which (1965), Of Being Numerous (1968), and Seascape: Needle’s Eye (1972).

Available: October 01 1976