Gravity and Center: Selected Sonnets, 1994-2022


Product Details

$30.00  $27.90
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.3 X 1.0 inches | 0.83 pounds
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About the Author

Henri Cole was born in Fukuoka, Japan, to a French mother and an American father. He has published ten previous collections of poetry and received many awards, including the Jackson Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Award, the Rome Prize, the Berlin Prize, the Lenore Marshall Award, and the Award of Merit Medal in Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has also published Orphic Paris, a memoir. He lives in Boston and teaches at Claremont McKenna College.


"What a hive of feeling, thinking activity this book is . . . This is one of the least boring books of poems I've read in a long time . . . Cole's sonnet is a form both economical and maximal, which, through both artifice and resistance to artifice, feels and makes you feel, thinks and makes you think." --Daisy Fried, The New York Times Book Review

"This volume of sonnets by one of the form's most distinctive practitioners calibrates tensions between mind and body, nature and culture, self and society, freedom and restraint . . . the poems feel at once delphic and deeply personal, mapping the thin and porous membrane between the author's inner and outer worlds." --The New Yorker

"These sonnets embody all the best qualities of this poet's enviable economy of language, evocative imagery, wicked turns of phrase, and sheer lyrical genius . . . That Cole manages to range the wide spectrum of human experience within the 14 lines of the sonnet is testament both to the poet's craft and the form itself." --Diego Báez, Booklist (Starred Review)

"Henri Cole brings memory and emotion to life on the page in Gravity and Center. Landscapes of earth, sky, and water are the backdrop for emotions and desire, punctuated with unique fragrances and tastes that bring life to their sonnet form . . . Each one of the sonnets in this collection, taken from the last thirty years of his work, has his signature: raw, powerful, gritty emotion encased in elegant prose, each one unique, apart from their structure." --Janet Rodriguez, The Rumpus

"There's no easy resolution in this showcase of Cole's subtle and evocative rendering of the human experience." --Publishers Weekly