Ugly Duckling Presse

Item view

Sam Truitt: Vertical Elegies: Three Works
Browse < >

~Poetry~ | $16 ($13 direct from UDP)
Perfect-bound. 128 pp, 8.5 x 8.5 in.
ISBN 978-1-933254-30-2
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Distribution: ~SPD~

Sam Truitt’s Vertical Elegies: Three Works consists of the long poem Song of Rasputin, the 40-day poetic chronicle Raton Rex, and the multi-layered concrete poem Falltime. The book is designed by Kathryn Weinstein and printed in a first edition of 900 copies. (The three works collected here were first printed in a special-format artist book edition, limited to 50 copies, by Ugly Duckling Presse in 2003, designed by Ellie Ga and Matvei Yankelevich, with typesetting by Kathryn Weinstein.)

“Sam Truitt’s poems have a don’t-stop-me-now-I’m-almost-there urgency to them. He has always been disposed to the book-length rather than the page-length poem. He has no patience for the voice’s removal from the scene—the language he seems destined to sing holds too much hubris, speed, and childlike wonder to hold back. Instead, cunning formal maneuverings provide the distance and displacement needed to rattle the teeth of syntax and alter the current beat. As a reader, one gets caught up in the frenzy. There is the pleasure of verbal abandon and the reassurance of visual control. There is the perpetually keyed-up anticipation of anything-could-happen-here… His wall of sound and saturation of detail are made the more brilliant by their pattern… Truitt proves to be a truly inventive architect of his astonishing utterance. Every movement embraces every moment. Ideas proliferate at the slightest summons. And one form is adroitly acted upon by the next. This is a poetry stash worth raiding.” —C.D. WRIGHT, in the BOSTON REVIEW 

Sam Truitt

Sam Truitt is the author of Vertical Elegies 5: The Section, Anamorphosis Eisenhower and Street Mete. An excerpt of Raton Rex (from Three Works) was selected for The Best American Poetry 2002 (Scribner), and his work has also been anthologized in American Poetry: The Next Generation (Carnegie Mellon, 2000). His poems have appeared in Fence, Ploughshares, Denver Quarterly, Boston Review, Explosive, Jacket, Talisman, and First Intensity, among other journals. His critical writing and reviews have appeared in Fulcrum, Interim, and the American Book Review, among other publications. His works of visual poetry have been exhibited at the Rothstein Gallery, Tonic, and the St. Marks Poetry Project (see His writing is in a semi-permanent installation at the Paramount Hotel’s Whiskey Bar at Times Square in New York City. He received a 1995 Fund for Poetry grant and has been awarded residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell and Vermont Studio Center. Truitt was the recipient of the 2002 Contemporary Poetry Series Award from the University of Georgia Press. He holds an MFA from Brown and a BA from Kenyon, and he is currently a PhD candidate at University at Albany, where he teaches as well, in addition to teaching at College of St. Rose and Bard College. In the past, he has taught at Hunter College, Fordham University, the New University and Empire State College’s Harry Van Arsdale Center for Labor Studies, among other institutions. Truitt was born in Washington, DC, and raised there and in Tokyo, Japan. He is married to Kim Jaye, and together they have two daughters, Indiana and Evangeline.