Ugly Duckling Presse

Escape from Combray
Escape from Combray

Rick Snyder

Poetry | $14 $12
Buy"Quiet, moving, brutally nostalgic."
Escape from Combray presents an intimate cycle of poems exploring the growing sense of urban ennui and dislocation affecting a generation of Americans. Snyder's poems evokes a psychogeographic landscape where quotidian symbols of the working class juxtapose with the timeless profundity of Proust, Virgil, and Dante.

About the Author

Rick Snyder

Rick Snyder is the author of Escape from Combray (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009). His chapbooks include Paper Poem (Dusie, 2006), Flown Season (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2004), and Forecast Memorial (Duration, 2002). His poems, essays, and translations have appeared, or are forthcoming in Aufgabe, Fence, jubilat, Jacket, Ping Pong, and other journals. He currently teaches Latin and classical studies at the University of Rochester.

Advance Praise

Stan Brakhage writes 'The American inherently struggles to be gentle and at the same time not to be taken advantage of.' Nowhere is this notion more evident than in Rick Snyder’s remarkable poems, whose sweet-bitter speakers reveal the numerous states (both territories and conditions) with which—and in which—to fall in love and take issue. I’m very glad this book is in the world. —Graham Foust
I find myself reading Rick Snyder’s Escape from Combray on a gray summer morning in Maine. Its cityscapes, scenes, and sounds echo along the pines, intertwine with rural chirrups. These beautiful poems show how experience is shaped when the senses expand the flatness of the present in unfolding rhythmic phrases. Snyder’s pen moves skillfully from the casualness of a chance encounter into Augustine’s house of memory. It is what poetry does best, though one rarely sees it done so well. —Jennifer Moxley
These poems often occur at dusk on the way home from work, the mind loosed from constraints and merging with the ambience of city streets. They record the sad but sustaining ironies of urban life—shops lighting up for the night, dirty snow, pockets of neglect and obsolescence—as well as brief glimpses of unexpected happiness. Throughout, one finds a light touch, whimsical self-regard, and lyrical wistfulness. Escape from Combray dips into the stream of days and the vernaculars of our time in order to draw up something memorable.—Devin Johnston