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Cover for Turning into Dwelling

Turning into Dwelling

Poems (Re/View)

Christopher Gilbert, Terrance Hayes (Introduction by)


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A milestone publication of the late Christopher Gilbert's poetry, with an introduction by the National Book Award winner Terrance Hayes

Lord, the anguish of my Black block rises up in me
like a grief. My only chance to go beyond being breach—
to resist being quelled as a bit of inner city entropy—
is to speak up for the public which has birthed me.
To build this language house. To make this case. Create.
This loving which lives outside time. Lord, this is time.
—from "Turning into Dwelling"

Christopher Gilbert's award-winning Across the Mutual Landscape has become an underground classic of contemporary American poetry. Now reissued and presented with Gilbert's never-before-published last manuscript written before his death in 2007, Turning into Dwelling offers new readers the original music and vision of one of our most inventive poets.

Praise For Turning into Dwelling: Poems (Re/View)

“Christopher Gilbert's poems seem to emerge from the desire to know and be known. They create a sense of deep intimacy from a pulsing soul somewhere out there opening the floodgates of heart, mind, and spirit. The poems hold so much. But their everything-ness, while exhilarating, also reminds us that there is never enough time for all the knowing and feeling that now seem so near. He sounds like no other; his poems were generative for many poets, myself included. I am so very grateful to have more poems and the full span of his work in this volume, even as I am heartbroken that there are no more.” —Elizabeth Alexander on Across the Mutual Landscape

“There he is and here he comes, again, Christopher Gilbert, he who redefines arrival. Where were you when you heard about him, when he reached you and helped let your outer world in and your inner world out? Gilbert is the fullest whole (living) note to appear in the period between the death of Robert Hayden and the birth of Thomas and Beulah. Ask yourself: which aesthetic radio station is he? Then keep reading and rereading the page-provisations of intelligent community exchange, because Turning into Dwelling is one continuous, non-programmable, sun and soul dialectic.” —Thomas Sayers Ellis on Across the Mutual Landscape

“These poems turn on the convictions and values of the musicians Thelonious Monk and Charlie ‘Bird' Parker, and the poets Robert Hayden and Muriel Rukeyser, who heal and instruct . . . They are full of verbal play and the animal and godly qualities of existence.” —Michael S. Harper on Across the Mutual Landscape

“[Gilbert] has the artistry, the energy, and the staying power to make [his career] a richly significant one.” —Denise Levertov on Across the Mutual Landscape

Graywolf Press, 9781555977139, 176pp.

Publication Date: July 7, 2015

About the Author

Christopher Gilbert is the author of "Across the Mutual Landscape," winner of the 1983 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. He died in 2007.