Finalist for the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry—an erotic, powerful collection
“One of the best books of contemporary poetry.”—Victoria Chang, Huffington Post
“Vital, immediate, and cinematic in scope.”—Library Journal (Best Poetry of 2005)
Selected by Nobel Prize laureate and competition judge Louise Glück as the 2004 winner of the Yale Younger Poets prize, Richard Siken’s Crush is a powerful collection of poems driven by obsession and love. Siken writes with ferocity, and his reader hurtles unstoppably with him. His poetry is confessional, gay, savage, and charged with violent eroticism. In the world of American poetry, Siken's voice is striking.
In her introduction to the book, Glück hails the “cumulative, driving, apocalyptic power, [and] purgatorial recklessness” of Siken’s poems. She notes, “Books of this kind dream big. . . . They restore to poetry that sense of crucial moment and crucial utterance which may indeed be the great genius of the form.”
Richard Siken is cofounder and editor of the literary magazine spork. He received two Arizona Commission on the Arts grants, two Lannan Residency Fellowships, and a Literature Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts.
“One book I keep returning to is Richard Siken’s Crush. . . . The poems are vivid, heaving things, stuffed with obsession and surprises. . . . The poems aren’t comforting, but they’re invigorating. This is a book about thrashing around in the great big world, being messy, being alive.”—Elizabeth A. Harris, New York Times Book Review
“Siken writes about love, desire, violence, and eroticism with a cinematic brilliance and urgency that makes this one of the best books of contemporary poetry.”—Victoria Chang, Huffington Post
“Vital, immediate, and cinematic in scope, [Siken’s] verse offers sharply observed vignettes of longing, love, and pain.”—Library Journal (Best Poetry of 2005)
“A powerful collection of poems . . . at once confessional, gay, savage, and charged with a violent eroticism.”—Forecast
Finalist for the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry
Winner of the 2005 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, sponsored by The Publishing Triangle
“Crush is a wondrous, brilliant book. Richard Siken’s poetry is daring in its construction, graceful yet startling in its beauty, and complicit with emotions and states of mind that would have remained unintelligible without him.”—Dennis Cooper
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