Award-winning poet and writer Annie Finch is the author of eighteen books, most recently Spells: New and Selected Poems (2013). She has also published popular nonfiction, plays, opera libretti, and memoir. Annie’s poetry has appeared in the Penguin Book of Twentieth-Century American Poetry and onstage at Carnegie Hall. Educated at Yale (B.A.), the University of Houston (M.A.) and Stanford (Ph.D), Annie has performed her poetry and taught workshops at conferences, schools, and universities around the world.
From her poetry is a pure tone that calls us home to the first impulse of poetry. Finch’s poetry is songs to shift knowing in this place of things and ideas. We link to mystery. We lift off.
Annie Finch is an American original, a master of control who shows no fear of excess, and none of quietness either. Her poems have depths and delights that appear to go on forever.
Finch is a poet in her bones . . . I found myself shocked with pleasure.
Annie Finch has made form a woman looking out at us all, beckoning us to enter into her arena and be.
Whenever I get discouraged about some trends in American poetry, I think of Annie Finch, a shining light, and I feel better.
Mesmerizing and original, Annie Finch occupies a unique place in American poetry.
The Encyclopedia of Scotland
“In the face of technological and consumer culture, Finch’s fanciful libretto opts for evanescence over irony, sensual pleasure over theoretical critique. Hidden codes and secret pleasures, nursery rhymes and popular songs, primordial ooze and joyous sound-patterning animate these pages.” – Jennifer Moxley
The Encyclopedia of Scotland, Annie Finch’s first published book of poetry, is a performance poem for soul-voice and attendant daemons, a passionate invocation to a Muse at once abundant and excruciating. Originally sung and chanted by Finch and other performers with a musical ensemble, this rhythmic feast enacts a complex ritual of self-initiation into the realm of poetry.
“In the face of technological and consumer culture, Finch’s fanciful libretto opts for evanescence over irony, sensual pleasure over theoretical critique. Hidden codes and secret pleasures, nursery rhymes and popular songs, primordial ooze and joyous sound-patterning animate these pages. Friskily sporting with lofty tones and poetic apparatus, The Encyclopedia of Scotland (written in 1980) anticipates works such as Lisa Robertson’s Debbie: An Epic and Stacy Doris’ Paramour. Here is high artifice and sonic astonishment, here is a unique mind at literary play.”
“Annie Finch can’t be a new formalist, precisely because she’s passionate both about the new and about form. She is also one of the great risk-takers in contemporary poetry, right up there with Lee Ann Brown & Bernadette Mayer in her willingness to completely shatter our expectations as readers. The Encyclopedia of Scotland fundamentally demonstrates just how deep Finch’s commitment to language is. It will force many readers to rethink whatever they may have thought they knew about Finch & her project heretofore.”
— Ron Silliman on “Silliman’s Blog”
Read an Excerpt from “Feeding the Admiral’s Pussycat” section of The Encyclopedia of Scotland in Jacket
poems of annie finch