For over fifty years, Michael Heller has been building one of the most impressive bodies of work in contemporary American poetry. A poet who digs in and thinks hard, a poet who, in the tradition of George Oppen, makes the abstract concrete and the concrete abstract, Heller is a writer who returns again and again to his major themes, the better to rethink them anew. Those themes include the political and natural worlds and the reponsibility and the freedom of the poet, and Heller often explores them through encounters with key figures in literature and art, such as the painter Max Beckmann and Walter Benjamin. A Jewish poet, a Buddhist poet, a profoundly reflective poet, a deeply sensual poet, Michael Heller is simply one of the best poets writing today.
Michael Heller has published more than twenty-five volumes of poetry, essays, and memoir. His recent works include the poetry collection This Constellation Is a Name: Collected Poems 1965–2010, Dianoia, and Beckmann Variations & Other Poems, a work in prose and poetry. He is the recipient of numerous prizes, including awards from the Poetry Society of America, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Fund for Poetry. He lives in New York City.
Albert Mobilio is a poet and critic. His books of poetry include Bendable Siege and The Geographics, and his criticism has appeared in Harper’s, The New York Times Book Review, and The Village Voice. In 1999 he won the National Book Critics Circle award for excellence in reviewing. He teaches at The New School.