In this last original book from renowned poet George Starbuck, we see a joyous and clear-eyed deepening of his work as he knowingly approaches death. Starbuck's skill with the American language and sensitivity to the rhythms of vernacular speech, his lyric sensibility (at once erudite and irreverent), and his impish satire engaging broad social and political issues are all trademarks of his widely praised verse. So too is his technical agility, richly displayed here in multiple forms, but particularly in the formal invention he called Standard Length and Breadth Sonnets, or SLABS. Most of the poems in Visible Ink were originally published in the Atlantic Monthly, Grand Street, the New Yorker, Harper's, Partisan Review, Ploughshares, the Kenyon Review, the Iowa Review, and TriQuarterly. All are infused with Starbuck's signature wit and intelligence and range in subject matter from war to pop culture, from experiments with language to shopping mall madness, from baseball and jazz to the eternal beauties of physics. George Starbuck was a well-loved luminary of modern American poetry - a poet whose obsessions and virtuosities have no equal. His verse is said to be ""fit for the 4th of July"" - a stunning display of verbal, intellectual, and political pyrotechnics that tease the mind, spark the wit, and light the dark places of the national conscience. As X. J. Kennedy once put it, ""George Starbuck makes the American language roll over and whistle 'Dixie.""'
George Starbuck (1931-1996) won the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize for his first book of poems, Bone Thoughts, in 1960 and the Lenore Marshall poetry prize for The Argot Merchant Disaster in 1982. In addition to penning six other books, Starbuck was also widely known for 25 years as a teacher of poetry and director of writing programs at the University of Iowa and Boston University. He was the distinguished chair in poetry at The University of Alabama before his death in 1996 due to Parkinson's disease. Kathryn Starbuck is the author's widow and former editor of the Milford (NH) Cabinet. Elizabeth Meese is Professor of English at The University of Alabama and author of (Sem)Erories.