Edited and with an essay by Robert Seydel
hardcover, 6.25 × 9.25 in.
112 pages, color and b/w
published in 2009
Siglio had the immense honor to publish Keith’s luminescent collages—edited by the dearest of Siglio friends, artist-writer Robert Seydel—and the great luck to enter Keith and his soulmate Rosmarie’s rich and multifarious world of poetry, translation, publishing, community. No, not world; rather, galaxy, universe, cosmos. Their collaboration on the insistently vanguard Burning Deck Press chartered the outer reaches, yielding an indispensable map for siglio—and many other small presses.
For nearly four decades, Keith Waldrop has been creating a lyrical body of visual art that mirrors his extraordinary oeuvre of poetry, fiction, and translation. Like his collage poems, Waldrop’s visual works are enveloped in quiet tensions and ghosted impressions. They construct densities of atmosphere and architecture, drift and dream. Rich in textual and visual play, romantic and contradictory in their shapings, his collages use traces of memory to gesture toward the absent and the invisible.
Edited and with an afterword by artist Robert Seydel, Several Gravities features a substantial selection of these radiant collages in a full color, hardcover edition, and includes a previously unpublished serial poem as well as an essay by Waldrop that enunciates the relationship between this author’s distinctive visual and poetic practices.
With candles burning in devotional space and stairs leading to inked occult openings, Several Gravities brilliantly documents the “potential random” so generative to Keith Waldrop’s wizardry as visual artist, prose stylist, and master poet. Whatever he compels—or compels him—is living, shining, astonishing.
This juxtaposition of prose commentary, verse and collage is a fascinating and illuminating work in itself. Several Gravities also serves as a bright window onto the landscape of Keith Waldrop’s poetics and creative life. It is suffused with his ineffable mix of gentle irony, humor and incisiveness, a tonal palette I have much admired across the decades of his deeply imaginative engagement with poetry, prose, drama and the visual arts.
about the author
KEITH WALDROP (1932–2023) is the author of over two dozen works of poetry and prose, an eminent translator, and with wife Rosmarie Waldrop, founding editor of the influential and innovative Burning Deck Press. His trilogy of collage poems Transcendental Studies (UC Press, 2009) received the National Book Award for Poetry, for which he was also nominated for his first book A Windmill Near Calvary. For his lifetime contribution to French literature, Waldrop received the rank of Chevalier des arts et des lettres from the French government. Publishers Weekly has written that Waldrop is “one of the most important writers, translators, and publishers of avant-garde literature in our time.” He taught at Brown University in the Literary Arts Department from 1968–2011, and was the founding director of the Graduate Writing Program.
about the editor
A prolific artist and writer, Robert Seydel (1960–2011) created a multi-layered, highly original body of work marked by both an unrelenting sense of play and an extraordinary and eclectic body of knowledge. Book of Ruth was published in 2011; A Picture Is Always a Book: Further Writings from Book of Ruth and the poetry collection Songs of S. (copublished with Ugly Duckling Presse) were published posthumously in 2014 on the occasion of the solo exhibition “The Eye in Matter” at the Queens Museum and Smith College Library.
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May 11, 2023 — It was spring. And then it was not. And now it is again. How far can you throw a ball? What if one could travel along a high arc, across a continent, an ocean? What if you could travel with the ball, see as it might what is above and below? And I wonder what its speed might be? Enough to stay aloft, but slow, not even so fast as a swallow? That was once how a single season felt. Now…[...]