Squaring the Circle
Page Count: 88
Publication Date: Wednesday, February 08, 2017
Cover Artwork: Photography by Lynn Saville
About this Book
Philip Fried's Squaring the Circle is humorous and yet also mysterious in its evocation of esoteric physics and theology. The title poem presents a mystic/scientific quest for an impossible geometry as both a vaudevillian historical catastrophe and a way of understanding God. Throughout, Fried uses pastiche and the mashup of texts to explore historical moments and personal history. Behind its many forms and approaches, however, the book conveys the strong sense of a “persona"—the feeling, as Stanley Kunitz once said, that the poet has imagined a person who could write these poems.
Praise for Philip Fried’s Interrogating Water and Other Poems (Salmon, 2014)
“An outstanding new poetry collection published by the Irish press, Salmon ... His new volume is a kind of counter-epic, denouncing through fantasy, parody and other devices a panoply of evils (national expansionism, the nuclear bomb, the ‘War on Terror,’ rendition and torture) while reading them as major moral, cultural, linguistic and indeed biological questions. This collection should be on every English school syllabus – and not only for the valor and vision of its protest. Fried’s thrillingly crafted poetry hauls in language itself for interrogation.”
Praise for Philip Fried’s work in the anthology Four American Poets (The High Window, 2016)
“I love Philip Fried’s elegant quarrels with the cruelty and ignorance of the world or, more precisely, its inhabitants.”
Praise for Philip Fried’s Early/Late: New and Selected Poems (Salmon, 2011)
“Not content to chronicle the small beer of perception and memory, [Fried] wants to engage what literary intellectuals really think about … And the engagement is enacted with the tools of postmodernity—pastiche, irony, “the wearing of a linguistic mask,” but with an intellectual grasp, stylistic precision and a moral penetration that bring our lives into focus.”
—Lem Coley, American Book Review
“Book by book, we watch the poet make more audacious leaps between archaic and contemporary language and concerns …”
—Debra Wierenga, Poet Lore
Philip Fried has published six previous books of poetry, including Early/Late: New and Selected Poems (Salmon, 2011) and Interrogating Water and Other Poems (Salmon, 2014). His poems and reviews have appeared in numerous journals. In addition to writing poetry, he edits The Manhattan Review, an international poetry journal he founded in 1980. Fried lives in New York with his wife, the photographer Lynn Saville.