Selected Days
Stephen Ratcliffe

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August 5, 2014: Selected Days wins the Poetry Center Book Award from San Francisco State University!

Stephen Ratcliffe has been performing daily writing since 1999, when he began with Portraits & Repetition. Through a daily practice of acute perception of landscape and the experience of physical space, Ratcliffe has accrued several thousand pages of poems. Selected Days provides excerpts from six collections that span two decades. Ratcliffe’s observations investigate the relationship of the material world to the materiality of language represented on the page, in his grid-forming Courier font. The result is a meditative documentation of time passing from an ostensibly still vantage point; still insofar as it never stops moving.

Stephen Ratcliffe is a poet, professor, and publisher. His recent publications include: CLOUD / RIDGE (BlazeVox [books], 2011), Conversation (Bootstrap Press / Plein Air Editions, 2011), HUMAN / NATURE, Remarks on Color / Sound, Temporality (Eclipse, 2011); Reading the Unseen: (Offstage) Hamlet (Counterpath, 2010); REAL (Avenue B, 2007); CLOUD / RIDGE (ubu editions, 2007); HUMAN / NATURE (ubu editions, 2007); Portraits & Repetition (Post-Apollo, 2002); SOUND/(system) (Green Integer, 2002).

Karla Kelsey reviews Stephen Ratcliffe’s SELECTED DAYS (Counterpath, 2012) in The Constant Critic.

Craig Dworkin on SELECTED DAYS: Stephen Ratcliffe has long been my hero: fearlessly writing essays on the most restive texts of contemporary poetry as if it were a matter of course and quietly conducting some of the most radical experiments himself, with a humility rare for an avant-garde accustomed to grandstanding braggadocio. In the poems collected here, conceptual and grammatical grids serve as screens with which to capture the fragile phenomenology at the intersection of perception and thought. In the process, Ratcliffe has performed quotidian observation as a sort of devotional practice. The books from which these present selections have been made are extensive — hundreds and thousands of pages each — but they are all built from minute particulars projected through perceptible forms, so that even excerpted they retain their capaciousness. Parts here contain the whole, and the whole extends beyond the book to be coincident with each and every day. For readers, these poems will alter the details of the world around them with the same precision and wonder with which they were recorded.

August 15, 2012
Stephen Ratcliffe
$15.95; 6 x 8 1/4;
208 pgs.
ISBN 978-1933996-28-8