||REPRESENTATIVE WORKS: 1938-1985
by Jackson Mac Low
"There is always a remarkable compassion, and humor, in any writing of Jackson Mac Low's, even in the intentionally random, just as there are ways and ways of jumping off or in or on -- "Antic Quatrains," for example. Now in his classic phase, so to speak, albeit as much a charming newcomer as ever, Jackson Mac Low makes adamant sense and sense adamant, simply the two-way street of either system or existence -- but with love, with intelligence, with all you can ever think it is."
- Robert Creeley
"Mac Low's Thoreau: he gives exact attention. No added flavor: just it. His poetry sets us ecstatic, though he insists we speak it "soberly and clearly (as in serious conversation)." Bells ring (Stein, Whitman); others will (Joyce, ancient Chinese). He wa sringing them before we were able to hear. Musician, he introduced poetry to orchestra without syntax. Poet, he "sets all well afloat." That's why his poetry, even though it looks like it, i spoetry."
- John Cage
"Mac Low...[is]...one of the two major artists bringing systematic chance operations into our poetic & musical practice since the Second World War. The resulting work raises fundamental questions about the nature of poetry & the function of the poet as creator. For raising such questions, Mac Low has sometimes met with stron grejection &, being primarily a poet, has found less public recognition for a work that's often sensed as "abstract" & that seems, by setting "chance" over "choice" in the making of poems, to act against that projection of personality usually associated with"the poet." Still, he's widely influential & recognized by many...as the principal experimental poet of his time."
- Jerome Rothenberg (from the Preface)
Publication date: January 1986