University of Akron Press
Out of our endgame of giddy chaos, Black Leaf sustains and deepens the themes and images first confronted in Seiler's 1994 book, The Waters of Forgetting. Whether attentive to the poet in Paris, or Isaac Bashevis Singer in Hoboken, or to Sam Cooke on the radio, these poems carry the reader through the postwar premillenial world, sifting through the layers of history, popular culture, literature, and personal mythology to discover the fragments out of which a self can be shaped. In lines of wry humor and regret, of tension and the longing for release, the figure of the black leaf drifts from the first poem to the final sequence, suggestive of that moment before creation, before the pages turn white with possibility, or that thin screen upon which the imagination projects its stories to counter the stories told by time.
Barry Seiler, a native of the Bronx, resides in New Jersey and upstate New York. With a B.A. in English from Queens College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of California at Irvine, Seiler teaches at Rutgers University. His poetry has been awarded the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize and a Distinguished Artist grant from the New Jersey Council on the Arts. He has published three chapbooks and two full-length collections, most recently The Waters of Forgetting, the first volume in the Akron Series in Poetry.