Terrain Vague

By Richard Meier
Publication Date: December 1, 2000

ISBN# 9780970367211 (5.5x8.5 108pp, paperback)

  • “Basking in the twilight of Late Romanticism, Meier (no relation to the architect), in his debut, finds the rays seductive but damaging. Frequent nods to predecessors abound; whether revising Stevens’s ‘Ideas of Order’ or growing impatient with his ‘Disillusionment of Ten O’clock,’ Meier rejects the redemptive power of a supreme fiction, casting his lot with the postmodern lyricism of Michael Palmer and linguistic slippage of the quickly lyric Ashbery.” —Publishers Weekly

    Winner of the 2000 Verse Prize, selected by Tomaž Šalamun

  • Richard Meier’s Terrain Vague chooses a remarkably different path. Among a plethora of nearly indistinguishable voices, his rings out like that of a man waving semaphores: hills and valleys burning, fire approaching from above and around and below. It is a startling first book, a work of craft and originality and heart. Without flamboyant language it makes its presence known, refuses to engage in idle conversation and creates, by doing so, a different tone in the room...this is one of the best first books I have seen in recent years.
    Pamela Greenberg, Harvard Review

    The poems are dense and imagistic, at times almost surreal, and they pulse down the page with an urgency of both narrative and rhythm. Meier packs his poems tightly...They are also consistently worth the effort of unpacking.
    Camille-Yvette Welsch, ForeWord Magazine

  • Richard Meier’s second book of poetry, Shelley Gave Jane a Guitar, was published by Wave Books in 2006. His first book, Terrain Vague, was selected by Tomaz Salamun for the Verse Prize and published by Verse Press in 2001. He is writer-in-residence at Carthage College and lives in Chicago, IL and Madison, WI.

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