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The Revisionist and the Astropastorals by Douglas Crase

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Published 28th November 2019

Douglas Crase is best known for a single book of poems, The Revisionist (1981). In the year of its publication John Ashbery urged Carcanet to consider it for British publication and now, thirty-eight years later, the book appears together with the chapbook entitled The Astropastorals (2017), which together constitute the core of Crase's poetic work.

He is among the crucial poets of his generation, but until now his work has not been widely available. The Revisionist went out of print in 1987. Its influence persists, The Oxford Book of American Poetry says, as a 'formidable underground reputation' here surfacing decisively at last, with Mark Ford's essay providing advocacy and context for the British reader. An heir to Whitman, to Crane, to Ashbery, Crase deploys what he calls an American 'civil meter', throwing down a wry distinctively American prosodic gauntlet to readers and writers that is likely to be as discussed as Williams's 'variable foot'.

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