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Called “the master of the poetic one-liner” by the New York Times, acclaimed poet and critic Lloyd Schwartz takes his characteristic tragicomic view of life to some unexpected and disturbing places in this, his fourth book of poetry. Here are poignant and comic poems about personal loss—the mysterious disappearance of his oldest friend, his mother’s failing memory, a precious gold ring gone missing—along with uneasy love poems and poems about family, identity, travel, and art with all of its potentially recuperative power. Humane, deeply moving, and curiously hopeful, these poems are distinguished by their unsentimental but heartbreaking tenderness, pitch-perfect ear for dialogue, formal surprises, and exuberant sense of humor.
About the Author
Lloyd Schwartz is the Frederick S. Troy Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Boston, a longtime commentator on classical music and the arts for National Public Radio’s Fresh Air, and a noted editor of Elizabeth Bishop’s poetry and prose. He has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in poetry, and the Poet Laureateship of the city of Somerville, Massachusetts. His poems have appeared in the New Yorker, New Republic, and Atlantic, and have been selected for the Pushcart Prize, The Best American Poetry, and The Best of the Best American Poetry. Among his poetry books are Little Kisses, Cairo Traffic, and Goodnight, Gracie, all published by the University of Chicago Press.
"There’s a dreaminess to the collection...the sense of conversations with people from prior parts of life in moments just before waking." — Boston Globe
"In his poetry, Schwartz creates a warm and likable persona who uses verse as a means of dealing with a difficult world. Reading Little Kisses is reassuring – and that is a valuable attribute given the times we are living in."
— The Arts Fuse
“Despite the sometimes-grave themes, [the collection] is uplifting and joyous. All in all, it is a very lively mix of poems that move with subtlety, wisdom, good humor, and sly erudition. There is great musicality here and lots of rewarding lyrical surprises.”
— Consequence Magazine
“A major poet with a gentle, comic soul” — Roger Rosenblatt