“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 has published five books of poetry: A Duration (Wave Books, 2023), February March April April (Oxeye Press, 2017), In the Pure Block of the Whole Imaginary (Omnidawn, 2012), Shelley Gave Jane a Guitar (Wave Books, 2006), and Terrain Vague, selected by Tomaz Salamun for the Verse Prize and published by Verse Press in 2001. In recent years he has practiced and taught workshops on writing and walking and other daily and durational writing practices. He is Professor of English and Writer-in-Residence at Carthage College and lives in Somers and Madison, WI.
Publication Date: December 1, 2000
ISBN# 9780970367211 (5.5x8.5 108pp, paperback)