Albert Goldbarth has been one of my favorite poets for years. He's written and published a prolific amount of poetry over the years and I keep adding to my bookshelf year by year. Sometimes you have almost enough for free Super Saver Shipping on Amazon and an Albert Goldbarth book of poetry will put you over the top.
Ten years ago, one of my teachers, David Rivard, recommended Goldbarth to me with the book Heaven and Earth: A Cosmology. Rivard thought I would relate to those poems about space and science. I carried that book across the country and back, finally loaning it to a man I was dating from Belfast. I never got it back. So I bought another copy. Here's a good sample from the book, a poem called, "The Sciences Sing a Lullabye."
However, my all-time favorite Goldbarth poem (so far) is from the book Beyond, a 44-page opus called "The Two Domains." Well worth the price of the book, a funny smart ghost story.
Right now I'm reading To Be Read in 500 Years. Goldbarth can be dense and complicated but the payoff of insight is well worth your brain sweat.
I've only seen Albert Goldbarth once--on a craft panel at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in LA about four years ago. For someone sitting on a craft panel, he was completely reluctant to talk about craft. Thank God Mark Doty was there to fill in the holes. Goldbarth's dismissals of crafting questions that day was even reported on by the LA Times in the article "Albert Goldbarth taps his inner Jagger."
More about Mark Doty, another of my favorites, next week.