Stephen Edgar is well known as a poet in his home country of Australia. He has published seven collections of poetry, for which he has won several prestigious awards, yet he is hardly known outside his country. The commercial difficulty of exporting books of poetry (read: no profit margin) has precluded Americans and Europeans from reading him except in magazine reviews. This book intends to correct that deficit by presenting new poetry and selections from his earlier work, all previously unavailable in the United States or Europe.
Born in Sydney, Stephen Edgar has also lived in London and Tasmania, where he studied Classics and Librarianship before returning to Sydney in 2005. Clive James was so taken with Edgar’s poetry that he flew to Australia to meet him for lunch and their conversation continued into the dusk. It is unusual for a single poem to receive an analytical treatment in a monthly poetry magazine, yet James wrote such an essay in POETRY in January of 2009 on the poem “Man on the Moon” (included in this book). James says at the end of the article, “…his work participates in a new classicism, fit to incorporate in the modern world, in which it deserves a high place. Almost any of his poems will tell us that on a first reading. The second reading tells us why we should try to tell everyone else.”
Baskerville Publishers’ books have won two awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. We published the first book in English on the life of Joseph Brodsky, and we are equally proud to bring Stephen Edgar’s poetry to the attention of discriminating American readers (and, hopefully, soon to those across the pond). Please note that we have retained all Australian usages.
Edgar is a consummate craftsman, a new classicist. As Clive James said, “Models of plain speech even at their most eloquent, his poems are more sheerly beautiful from moment to moment than those of any other modern poet I can think of.”
This is magisterial poetry.
“I can’t think of anyone writing poetry in English, at the moment or recently, who renders the natural world with the voluptuous precision of Stephen Edgar. These are poems of elegance and depth.” — August Kleinzahler
“I’d think that Edgar must be on the short list of the best living practitioners of verse, rhymed or blank. His remarkable poems have been a highly rewarding discovery for me.” — Joshua Mehigan
“...he achieves, overall, a supple classicism that earns him a place next to the best twentieth-century American formalists.” — D.H. Tracy
5.5 x 8.5 hardcover, 112 pages, available April 2012 from Baskerville Publishers.