In Civilian Histories, her fourth book of poetry, Lee Upton portrays contemporary culture as the many-eyed, monstrous argus, and explores the common gestures between people and among cultures that constitute "foreign relations." Formally ambitious, ranging from short, allusive lyrics to long, intricately patterned sequences, Upton's poems reflect on complicity in and vulnerability to violence. Her poems also explore moments of hard-won triumph for the vivid, provocative people who inhabit them.
Lee Upton is the author of three additional books of poetry: "Approximate Darling" (Georgia), "The Invention of Kindness," and "No Mercy," a past winner of the National Poetry Series Competition. Upton has also written three books of literary criticism, most recently "The Muse of Abandonment: Origin, Identity, and Mastery in Five American Poets." She lives in Easton, Pennsylvania.