Rousseau Prize for Literature
|Runner-Up in the National Poetry
Review Book Prize
by Michael Tyrell
"The Wanted, Michael Tyrells sharp-eyed, intellectually inventive, playful, and darkly humorous first book, is filled with so many wonderful and surprising ways of looking at familiar things that it answers Stevens dilemma about which to prefer'The beauty of inflections/ Or the beauty of innuendoes'by preferring them both. Tyrell expresses this preference by way of a patient and scrupulous self-scrutiny, the kind he observes in Egon Schieles representation of trees in which the painter 'looked at himself, tore out the human, cleaved/ it into branches.' So, too, Tyrell looks at himself and cleaves the essential human matter of his perceptions onto the provocative and often sinuous lines of his verse."
"Like the haunted,
disconnected heads on a wanted poster, Michael Tyrells daring and fiercely
intelligent poems signify nothing less than the mystery of existence, the relationship
between how one is perceived to what one really is, if such a thing were possible to
express. To read these remarkable poems is to enter the shadow world of the wanted, where
every surface is vulnerable to a violence, real or implied, that will crack it open to
reveal a secret code. A book of masks where the disguised often forgets it wears the mask
and the mask forgets it is not the face, The Wanted invites us to 'enter the wet bladed
edges/ which break us again into separate beings, / pour salt into wherever we bleed.'
Enter with caution and be prepared to lose yourself."
|Michael Tyrell resides in Brooklyn, where he was born. His writing has appeared
in Agni, The New Republic, The New Yorker,
The New York Times, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, The Yale Review, and many other magazines. With Julia Spicher Kasdorf, he edited
the anthology Broken Land: Poems of
Brooklyn (NYU Press, 2007). He teaches at New