Raymond Carver, who became a master-storyteller of his generation and was hailed in Europe as 'the American Chekhov', wrote of himself: 'I began as a poet. My first publication was a poem. So I suppose on my tombstone I'd be very pleased if they put 'Poet and short-story writer - and occasional essayist', in that order.'
This complete edition allows readers to experience the range and overwhelming power of Carver's poetry for the first time. It brings together in the order of their American publication the poems of Fires (1985), Where Water Comes Together with Other Water (1986), Ultramarine (1988), A New Path to the Waterfall (1989) and No Heroics, Please (1991).
For readers who know Carver's middle period only through his selected poems, In a Marine Light (1988), it includes the windfall of 51 poems not previously published in Britain. All of Us is edited by Professor William L. Stull of the University of Hartford, and introduced with an essay on Raymond Carver's methods of composition by his widow, the poet Tess Gallagher.
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Better known for his short stories, Raymond Carver was also an accomplished poet, as this superbly presented collection attests - Harpers & Queen
The cumulative effect is exhilarating: happiness, yes, but about as far as you can get from the bland, cosmic gruntlement currently being peddled by so many American poets - Times Literary Supplement
A year after the American writer's abrupt death, Salman Rushdie concluded a review of A New Path to the Waterfall, a final verse collection, by urging: 'Read everything Raymond Carver ever wrote.' It's very good advice - Irish Times
What is never lost - or lost sight of- is the primacy of experience and the most direct way of finding its expression... The urgency of the artist not to trivialise, but to find the essence; plain language in which to lay bare the terror and beauty of plain lives -
Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon, in 1938. His first short stories appeared in Esquire during Gordon Lish's tenure as fiction editor in the 1970s. Carver's work began to reach a wider audience with the 1976 publication of Will You Please be Quiet, Please?, but it was not until the 1981 publication of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love under Gordon Lish, then at Knopf, that he began to achieve real literary fame. This collection was edited by more than 40 per cent before publication, and Carver dedicated it to his fellow writer and future wife, Tess Gallagher, with the promise that he would one day republish his stories at full length. He went on to write two more collections of stories, Cathedral and Elephant, which moved away from the earlier minimalist style into a new expansiveness, as well as several collections of poetry. He died in 1988, aged fifty.