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Hugh Seidman

Hugh Seidman

Hugh Seidman was born in Brooklyn (NY). His books have won several awards including: The Green Rose Prize (Somebody Stand Up and Sing), the Yale Younger Poets Prize (Collecting Evidence), and the Camden Poetry Award (People Live, They Have Lives). His Selected Poems: 1965-1995 received a 1995 Critics' Choice "Best Books" citation and was chosen as one of the "25 Favorite Books of 1995" by The Village Voice. He has also won three New York State poetry grants (NYFA and CAPS) and three National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) fellowships. Seidman has taught writing at the University of Wisconsin, Yale University, Columbia University, the College of William and Mary, and the New School University– among other institutions.

Also by Hugh Seidman

  • Selected Poems: 1965-1995
  • People Live, They Have Lives (1992)
  • Throne/Falcon/Eye (1982)
  • Blood Lord (1974)
  • Collecting Evidence (1970)

Somebody Stand Up and Sing

Somebody Stand Up and SingSomebody Stand Up and Sing

$14.00 paper | $24.00 cloth | 62 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-930974-53-1 (paper)
ISBN: 978-1-930974-52-4 (cloth)
Publication Date: April 2005
Buy: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | ShopWMU | UPNE

Winner of the 2004 Green Rose Prize

"Hugh Seidman’s flexible, deft prosody, and his wry, bittersweet address to the sad, foolish predicaments of contemporary American life, are proof, yet again, of his importance. In an age of what Henry James called ‘tremendous trash,’ his work fairly shines with authenticity and integrity."
        —Gilbert Sorrentino

“An American original and even stronger than that, these last four decades, till these poems anchored by their extreme facts and debris-like assembling remind us of who this man Seidman has always been becoming, this maker made by his irreducible materials."
        —Joseph McElroy

Praise for Selected Poems: 1965-1995:

"Whether adding new elegies for both father and mother, rethinking our use of napalm thirty years ago, or looking at photos of present-day atrocities, Seidman’s voice contains a unique combination of ecstasy and anguish."
        —American Book Review

Praise for People Live, They Have Lives:

"Seidman writes tough poems . . . They take their corners sharply, often going way over the speed limit. Yet they can stop on a dime, purr, suddenly levitate, and leave the reader gasping for air."
        —Norman Finkelstein, Denver Quarterly


I Could Not Say

I could not say I had averted Brooklyn:
envy, cruelty, treachery, rage, hatred.

I could not say I had forsworn vengeance:
broken nose, tooth—for broken nose, tooth.

I could not say I had avowed the good:
remorse, empathy, loyalty, mercy, love.

I could not say I had quit the stoop:
Jew Ganz, my hero, wrestling bully Joey.

I could not say I had settled truth:
scraped knee, filthy hand, football, punchball.

In spring my father took me to the field
where batters smacked the balls.

At camp: trapped Cassiopeia; belted Orion;
Venus the false star, even then.

As there God oversaw the cohorts
tightening the tefillin like tourniquets.