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Mark Irwin

Mark Irwin

Mark Irwin's poetry and essays have appeared widely in many literary magazines including The American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, Paris Review, Poetry, The Nation, New England Review, and the New Republic. The author of five previous collections of poetry, The Halo of Desire (1987), Against the Meanwhile, Wesleyan University Press (1989), Quick, Now, Always, BOA (1996), White City, BOA (2000), and Bright Hunger, BOA (2004), he has also translated two volumes of poetry, one from the French and one from the Romanian. Recognition for his work includes The Nation/Discovery Award, four Pushcart Prizes, National Endowment for the Arts and Ohio Art Council Fellowships, two Colorado Council for the Arts Fellowships, two Colorado Book Awards, the James Wright Poetry Award, and fellowships from the Fulbright, Lilly, and Wurlitzer Foundations. He lives in Colorado, and Los Angeles, where he currently teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at the University of Southern California.

Bookslut | An Interview with Mark Irwin

Also by Mark Irwin

  • Quick, Now, Always (1996)
  • White City (2000)
  • Bright Hunger (2004)

Tall If

Tall If

Tall If

$14.00 paper | 71 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-930974-78-4
Publication Date: Nov 2008
Buy: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | ShopWMU | UPNE

A Green Rose Book

"Tall If, Irwin’s sixth full-length collection of poetry, begins with a quote from Moby Dick, where Melville describes the ability of the mature mind to cast back into its experience: 'Once gone through, we trace the round again: and are infants, boys, and men, and Ifs eternally.' It is from here that the title of the collection springs: to be an 'If,' it seems, is to be endowed with the power of imagining both past and future. Coincidentally, this is the capability of the author as well, and this author in particular."
        —Andrew Allport, RATTLE

Praise for Mark Irwin's poetry:

" . . . a highly accomplished volume of reflections on entropy and the rituals we use to combat it . . . A writer of acute observational skills and lyrical limpidity."
        —Patrick Pritchett, American Book Review

Praise for Quick, Now, Always:

" . . . a jagged, heartbroken, and ecstatic excursus on the late 20th century, a race through troubled paradise."
        —Randall Watson, Chelsea

" . . . vibrant and alert, a poetry to contend with, Irwin requires readers to reflect on the fundamental certainty that underliesreason itself . . .”
        —American Book Review

"Brilliant, Irwin's intellect and the urgency of his words remain traditionally steadfast."
        —Publisher’s Weekly

Praise for White City:

"Irwin is a poet who looks into the world and sees more questions than answers . . . big questions, inquiries that explore the nature of existence, meaning, and reality."
        —Melissa Studdard Williamson, American Book Review

"Mark Irwin is a splendid lyricist, startling us awake into such moments. White City brims with them, rendered in flexible, inventive, sometimes mysterious language."
        —Pamela Alexander, Boston Book Review

Praise for Bright Hunger:

" . . . virtuoso performances . . . an intensity, an urgency about the evanescence of life and the various forces pressing on the human spirit and psyche."
        —Pamela Alexander, FIELD



In sleep the ones departed
became doors but I must not have
remembered for waking I walked in
and out of the doors sometimes pausing touching
a door as if I’d left something I needed
or was waiting and all that time the door
only separated me from another room
that word so full of its own still
wind or sometimes like an ocean secretly
invisibly rocking its objects
back and forth back and forth but I got
older and the rooms grew smaller
and smaller and suddenly I was tall
as the hour and the daydream
terribly long and there were the toys
yesterday and tomorrow
I could finally pick up and hold.