Complete Minimal Poems
By Aram Saroyan. Preface by Ron Silliman.
Long cherished in out-of-print editions, anthologies and textbooks, and more recently celebrated on the internet, the groundbreaking Concrete and Minimalist poems of Aram Saroyan (born 1943) are gathered together here in a single, much-needed volume. Working in the 1960s among the so-called Second Generation New York School of poetry and the international Concrete poetry movement, but also informed by Conceptual art, Saroyan brought an intense focus to the sensuality of words--often single words--highlighting their material strangeness. Among the most popular of these poems are the infamous "lighght" (singled out by Senator Jesse Helms, who publicly lambasted the poem when its author received an NEA award), "eyeye," and his four-legged letter "m." "Even a five-word poem has a beginning, middle and end," Saroyan once stated; "A one-word poem doesn’t. You can see it all at once. It’s instant." Complete Minimal Poems reissues the entirety of Saroyan’s rare collections Aram Saroyan, Pages and The Rest for the first time, as well as his well-known "Electric Poems" (originally published in the 1972 All Stars anthology) and the previously unpublished sequence "Short Poems." The first edition of Complete Minimal Poems was published in 2007, receiving praise in The New York Times and winning the 2008 William Carlos Williams Award. This reprint of that edition includes a new preface by Ron Silliman.