The Blue Buick

New and Selected Poems

B. H. Fairchild (Author)

Overview | Formats

“[B. H. Fairchild] is the American voice at its best: confident and conflicted, celebratory and melancholic.”—New York Times

Gathering works from five of B. H. Fairchild's previous volumes stretching over thirty years, and adding twenty-six brilliant new poems, The Blue Buick showcases the career of a poet who represents "the American voice at its best: confident and conflicted, celebratory and melancholic" (New York Times).

Fairchild's poetry covers a wide range, both geographically and intellectually, though it finds its center in the rural Midwest: in oilfields and dying small towns, in taverns, baseball fields, one-screen movie theaters, and skies "vast, mysterious, and bored." Ultimately, its cultural scope—where Mozart stands beside Patsy Cline, with Grunewald, Gödel, and Rothko only a subway ride from the Hollywood films of the 1950s—transcends region and decade to explore the relationship of memory to the imagination and the mysteries of time and being. And finally there is the character of Roy Eldridge Garcia, a machinist/poet/philosopher who sees in the landscape and silence of the high plains the held breath of the earth, "as if we haven't quite begun to exist. That coming into being still going on."

From the machine work elevated to high art that is the subject of The Arrival of the Future (1985) to the despairing dreamers of Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest (2002) to the panoramic, voice-driven structure of Usher (2009), Fairchild's work, "meaty, maximalist, driven by narrative, stakes out an American mythos" (David Ulin, Los Angeles Times).

From "The Blue Buick:"
A boy standing on a rig deck looks across the plains.
A woman walks from a trailer to watch the setting sun.
A man stands beside a lathe, lighting a cigar.
Imagined or remembered, a girl in Normandy
Sings across a sea, that something may remain.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • January 2016
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35216-0
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 352 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverThe Blue Buick: New and Selected Poems


Endorsements & Reviews

“I have no trouble ranking [Fairchild] with the best poets of his generation.” — Hudson Review

“One of the most readable poets of our time. . .  This is poetry of the extraordinary ordinary, nonpareil.” — Ray Olson, Booklist, starred review

“Acause of celebration. . . . Noisy, visually arresting poems, full of occult weather systems, the barbed nostalgia of a man born into one world, now inhabiting another . . . [Fairchild] has spent a lifetime singing the body electric of small, dying towns, day-laborers and the beers at the end of their day, the pressure it puts on the man who must remember it all.” — John Freeman, Boston Globe

Also by B. H. Fairchild All

  1. Book CoverEarly Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest: Poems


  2. Book CoverLocal Knowledge: Poems


  3. Book CoverUsher: Poems


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