Geoffrey Young has been creating an astonishing body of work for well over thirty years while running a gallery & being the publisher of The Figures Press, one of the most provocative & influential presses of the late 20th century. He has been known as a poets’ poet & a painters’ poet, but these terms undermine the swath that his poetry has cut through our world. It is high time that we read him as the demands his work offers us . . . read & leap !
“Let us now praise Geoff Young. In particular, the poems in Lights Out, which I think of as one of the necessary books of our time. In Geoff’s work, all kinds of pleasures and provocations abound—you get the playful silliness and verbal inventiveness of Ashbery, the sharp urbanities of O’Hara, the autotelic experimentalism of the Language school. Which is not to say that Young’s work is a collage of other writers’ talents. No, he is a unique voice. Lights Out, his most comprehensive book, is a full-service collection, in which all your poetry needs are met, whether for wit, narrative, or love and its loss:
I sometimes think that those writers who become publishers, editors, or anthologists take a risk with their own reputations as artists. In a universe of very needy and ambitious writers, these brave souls will be seen primarily in their role as servants to the needy. As publisher of The Figures, a press that put out more than a hundred titles by central players in the Language movement and others (including me), Geoff was probably known more as a publisher than writer. But, with the press now dormant (“defunct,” says Young), the full extent of his creative brilliance is increasingly recognized.”
Terence Winch- July 9, 2009
Mark Wallace is the author of more than fifteen books and chapbooks of poetry, fiction, and essays. Temporary Worker Rides A Subway won the 2002 Gertrude Stein Poetry Award and was published by Green Integer Books. His critical articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, and he has co-edited two essay collections, Telling It Slant: Avant Garde Poetics of the 1990s, and A Poetics of Criticism. Most recently he has published a short story collection, Walking Dreams (2007), and a book of poems, Felonies of Illusion (2008). Forthcoming in early 2011 is his second novel, The Quarry and The Lot.