Underwater Lengths in a Single Breath (October 2007)
By Benjamin S. GrossbergISBN: 978-0-912592-58-9
Underwater Lengths in a Single Breath is the winner of the 2005 Richard Snyder Publication Prize.
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Each title of Benjamin Grossberg’s poems might well serve as the name for his entire book, from “Conclusion of a Poem begun by Marlowe” to “From the Shore” and “Renaissance Fair.” This attractive concurrence signifies that however various his inspirations, Grossberg’s exhalations are always from the same lungs, the same brain, the same heart. His is a united sensibility, the kind we usually attribute to “The Time of Myths,” as the poet calls it. This extraordinarily rich and entertaining first book is unique in my experience for its eager and outrageous connections with the masters who enjoyed such mythical thinking – Shakespeare, Whitman – as well as for its daring departures from what those same masters, so lovingly ransacked, might ever have undertaken. Grossberg is learned though anything but knowing, playful but in dead earnest, urbane yet refreshingly pastoral. I rejoice that these poems are in the world of American letters.
- Richard Howard
Grossberg writes poems so well-fashioned they appear to have been wholly conceived. (“Artifice is our general burden,” quoth Amerigo Vespucci.) But radical too: in their erotic reveries, and with knowing sadness, the poems here take up classical matters anew and afresh. What a fine book, distinguished in these times for its historical reach and lyrical substance.
- Alan Michael Parker
Scholar of poetry and prolific poet himself, Benjamin S. Grossberg comes to readers with his own collection, Underwater Lengths in a Single Breath. Thought-provoking and profound in their aims, he offers much verse that does far more than simply entertain. Under water Lengths in a Single Breath is a strong collection that should not be missed.
- Small Press Bookwatch: November 2009, The Midwest Book Review
About the Author
Benjamin Grossberg is an Assistant Professor of English at University of Hartford and teaches poetry writing, contemporary U.S. Poetry, and English Renaissance literature. A graduate of Rutgers University (B.A.) and the University of Houston (M.A., Ph.D.), he has published a chapbook of poems, The Auctioneer Bangs His Gavel (Kent State, 2006), and two full-length collections: Underwater Lengths in a Single Breath and Sweet Core Orchard (U. Tampa Press, 2009, Winner of the 2010 Lambda Literary Award for Poetry). Individual poems have appeared in journals including Paris Review, North American Review, and Southwest Review. His work also appears in The Pushcart Book of Poetry: The Best Poems From the First 30 Years of the Pushcart Prize. Grossberg has received grants from the Ohio Arts Council, Culture Works of Montgomery County, and the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Harris County.
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