Featuring internationally acclaimed poetry from more than twenty books and chapbooks published over forty-five years, The Sparrow is a career-spanning selection that reveals how A. F. Moritz’s dynamic, ever-exploratory work is also a vast, singular poem.
A. F. Moritz has been called “one of the best poets of his generation” by John Hollander and “a true poet” by Harold Bloom, who ranks him alongside Anne Carson. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honours throughout North America, including the Award in Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Guggenheim Fellowship, Poetry magazine’s Beth Hokin Prize, the Ingram Merrill Fellowship, and the Griffin Poetry Prize.
The Sparrow: Selected Poems of A. F. Moritz surveys forty-five years of Moritz’s published poems, from earlier, lesser-known pieces to the widely acclaimed works of the last twenty years. Here are poems of mystery and imagination; of identification with the other; of compassion, judgement, and rage; of love and eroticism; of mature philosophical, sociological, and political analysis; of history and current events; of contemplation of nature; of exaltation and ennui, fullness and emptiness, and the pure succession and splendour of earthly nights and days.
The Sparrow is more than a selected poems; it is also a single vast poem, in which the individual pieces can be read as facets of an ever-moving whole. This is the world of A. F. Moritz — a unique combination of lyrical fire and meditative depth, and an imaginative renewal of style and never-ending discovery of form.
A. F. MORITZ is widely considered one of the defining and most beloved lyric poets of his generation. His many honours include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Bess Hokin Prize, and an Ingram Merrill Fellowship. He currently serves as the sixth poet laureate of the City of Toronto.
PRAISE FOR A. F. MORITZ:
“There is something reassuring in art of this calibre; it reminds us how things matter. Moritz’s voice is unmistakable. His readers, his admiring peers and his reviewers have long felt this, but it has become so obvious that it must finally be said: A. F. Moritz is one of the true master poets of his generation.” — Globe and Mail
“An ancient voice, mournful like the wind, speaks to itself yet means to be overheard in A. F. Moritz’s amazing poems … We seem to hear shattered echoes from the Bible, Dante, Petrarch, or Scève bound up in Maldoror’s cruel eloquence.” — John Ashbery
“A. F. Moritz is a poet of originality, daring, and projection: a remarkable voice and range of imagination.”— W. S. Merwin
“A.F. Moritz’s work leaves me reassured about the potential efficacy of poetry, of mind engaged with world on all fronts — politically, mythically, philosophically.” — Don McKay
“Moritz’s work isn’t light reading, its polished turns of phrase and fluid cadences notwithstanding. But taking the time to let these subtle, far-reaching poems sink in is itself spiritually revitalizing.” — Toronto Star
“Moritz is a poet of high seriousness — rare in this quick and confessional age. And so, all the more to be valued. Some of [his] poems are like fables, some like tableaus — motionless, full of portent, with the gravity and power of myth. Still others are as riveting as still lifes by an old master. I find them, literally, entrancing.” — P. K. Page
PRAISE FOR THE SENTINEL:
Winner, Griffin Poetry Prize
Finalist, Governor General’s Literary Award
A Globe and Mail Top 100 Book
“The Sentinel is filled with moments like this: graceful, adroit, surprising. There is something reassuring in art of this calibre; it reminds us how things matter. Moritz’s voice is unmistakable. His readers, his admiring peers and his reviewers have long felt this, but it has become so obvious that it must finally be said: A. F. Moritz is one of the true master poets of his generation.” — Globe and Mail
“Moritz’s sensibility is unique: melancholic, intellectual, comic, erotic, pitying … Moritz is a difficult, often obscure poet, whose works can defy paraphrase. With images culled from dreams, he constructs allegories of love and oppression that communicate by strange association and mysterious overtones and vague or mysterious words … The emotional content of Moritz’s work is so abundant and accessible that the reader is never lost. The Sentinel is a good place to become acquainted with Moritz’s work … a masterpiece … Moritz’s free verse takes on a classical quality … The Sentinel is an exploration of the possibilities of hope … [Moritz is a] rare poet.” —National Post
“Moritz is at his best when he combines his poetic sensibility-his ear for rhythm, precise phrasing, nuanced shifts in tone and register, and lyrical imagery-with his knowledge of mythic and literary conventions and his cogent political and philosophical observations.” — Canadian Literature
PRAISE FOR THE NEW MEASURES:
Finalist, Governor General’s Literary Award
Winner, Raymond Souster Award
“By their mysteriousness and mythic quality … we are invited to see ourselves and our society in those imagined. The New Measures is a book of stand-alone poems that enrich one another through proximity. Moritz’s vision builds not just within but also between poems — between those of societal ruin, and those that dream longingly of paradise.” — Arc Poetry Magazine
“The New Measures articulates with great artistry its author’s profound concern and abiding love for the human race.” — Quill & Quire (Starred Review)