Starred Reviews for Jim Harrison: Complete Poems in Library Journal and Booklist:
"This robust volume is a testament to the fortitude of a great American poet's work... [a] landmark collection."—Booklist, starred review
"In a collection that spans decades of living and writing, there are poems of every character, many of them superb."—Library Journal, starred review
“This densely rich book...places Harrison among the pantheon of our best American poets.” —New York Journal of Books
"[E]ven the readers who know him may not know that Harrison began as a poet and remained one for the rest of his life. His first published book was a poetry collection, 1965’s Plain Song; his last book of poems during his lifetime, 2016’s Dead Man’s Float, was published about two months before he died. In between he published a dozen or so other collections, adding up to a massive and bounteous body of work that would have made Harrison a significant American writer even if he had never published in any other genre."—The New York Times
"That’s what makes his poetry so intimate: the sense that it comes to us without filter, without the expectations or necessity of narrative. It is why I will always think of Harrison, most of all, as a poet."—David Ulin, Alta
“When [Jim Harrison: Complete Poems] arrives in the mail I stare at it for a time a little dumbfounded. It is gorgeous and it is massive…. The next day I carried it north with me to the Flathead Indian Reservation. I am teaching poetry to fourth- and fifth graders there. At the beginning of each of four classes I held the book up for everyone to see. We passed it around so everyone could feel its heft, see the photo on the back cover of the grizzled poet, his eyes turned down, drawing on the ubiquitous cigarette. I described it as a physical representation of a life devoted to poetry and how wonderful that is. I was asked how long it will take me to read the whole thing. ‘A lifetime,’ I answer.”—Chris La Tray, The Missoulian
"The publication of the Jim Harrison: Complete Poems will be the major poetic event of the season."—Paul Yamazaki, City Lights Booksellers
From the Introduction by Terry Tempest Williams: "Jim Harrison...was among the great ones—an elevated soul in all his unruliness who favored his senses and courted the wild on the page and in the world. His was a storied life that loomed large, and we are the beneficiaries. 'Such a powerful wounded poet—wrote as if he had to sing with a cut throat . . . and he did have to sing,' said Jorie Graham."
Jim Harrison: Complete Poems is the definitive collection from one of America’s iconic writers. Introduced by activist and naturalist writer Terry Tempest Williams, this tour de force contains every poem Harrison published over his fifty-year career, as well as a section of previously unpublished "Last Poems." Here are the nature-based lyrics of his early work, the high-velocity ghazals, a harrowing prose-poem “correspondence” with a Russian suicide, the riverine suites, fearless meditations inspired by the Zen monk Crazy Cloud, and a joyous conversation in haiku-like gems with friend and fellow poet Ted Kooser. Weaving throughout these 1000 pages are Harrison’s legendary passions and appetites, his love songs and lamentations, and a clarion call to pay attention to the life you are actually living. Jim Harrison: Complete Poems confirms that Jim Harrison is a talented storyteller with a penetrating eye for details, or as Publishers Weeklycalled him, “an untrammeled renegade genius… a poet talking to you instead of around himself, while doing absolutely brilliant and outrageous things with language.”
NOTE: Jim Harrison: Complete Poems also appears as a three-volume box set. Print run limited to 750 copies. Each volume is introduced by a different writer: Colum McCann, Joy Williams, and John Freeman. The box set retails for $85 and ISBN is 9781556596414.
FIRST EDITION POINTS: Please note that there is no indication of first edition on the copyright page of the single volume of Jim Harrison: Complete Poems . To confirm a first edition, check the attribution on the poem "She" (page 886): First editions have only a single attribution, Alta, 2021, and all subsequent printings also include the attribution Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 2016.
“[Harrison] equates writing poetry with creating cave paintings or petroglyphs, so intrinsically human is the urge to express the life of the soul, and his poems do make the temporal timeless.” —Booklist,starred review
“This is poetry worth loving, hating, and fighting over.” —New York Times Book Review
“It is hard-boiled poetry, some of the best of its kind, and one is not surprised to know that Harrison has written very tough novels… His poetic vision is at the heart of it all.” —Harper’s
“An untrammeled renegade genius… Here is a poet talking to you instead of around himself, while doing absolutely brilliant and outrageous things with language.” —Publishers Weekly
“Harrison’s essential honesty is deeply affecting… a moving body of work.” —Library Journal
“This brilliant poetry from an essential poet… will speak to you on a multitude of levels.” —Outside Magazine