Lyric Multiplea
Lyric Multiples
Essays | $19.95
paperback, 224 pages, 6 x 9 in
Publication Date: 2018
ISBN: 978-1-937658-92-2

A poet’s capacious and visionary sequence of essays exploring language and aesthetics in contemporary society

Lyric Multiples comprises four essays written over the last decade. The subject is poetry but the essays range over such topics as the evolution of the human call, ascensional modes of thinking, pop songs, the built environment and its discontents, the post-punk moment, its fruitful aftermath, and much else. Throughout this book, Albon explores unencountered varieties of aesthetic experience and the contributions they make to an ideal of social interconnectivity.


"Lyric Multiples is a triumph from beginning to end—a miracle of sustained argument and elaboration. In a process of continuous vision and revision, words and images appear, return, slip around the corners, only to return again to form multivalent entrances to truth. Who but Albon would pair so daringly the painter Robert Ryman and the poet Larry Eigner, and keep drawing out their similarities like one stretching Turkish taffy from the walls of a glass cube? Albon’s fabrics have not only the whole of human art and culture to take as materials, but the events of his own life, and those of his husband’s life as well; no realm of existence seems immune to his pull. By now it’s a natural system of material response; when he touches a thing, it grows bigger, and meaning comes out of it like honey. And, as he reminds us, 'honey lasts forever.'" —KEVIN KILLIAN

“What do you want poetry to do?” George Albon inquires in the final line of this wide-ranging work. It’s a further—almost vertiginous—opening of the aperture he’s already stretched so wide for us. Where does the lyric begin; where does it live; what can it do; why do we go to it? The text approaches these questions by dropping us into domains ostensibly outside of lyric—though in the end, one realizes that the lyric has never been left. Albon assembles a hybrid landscape, making gestures and suggestions marked by a quiet urgency, but no claims beyond the aspirational. I don’t think it’s a stretch to call this a devotional work: a faithful “getting toward a poem-thing” in which the arrival is ultimately kept open. I suggest you read this one slowly—to experience how nothing goes still each time the book is closed." —LAUREN SHUFRAN

"Crafted in vivid prose that reflects and further encourages climates of inquiry and states of hidden affiliation, Lyric Multiples is a capacious and open-ended view into the life forms that animate poetic practice. A writer graced with breadth of mind and commitment, Albon is a phenomenologist attuned to everyday particulars and to the place-specific estrangements in such time as that engendered by emergency, inclination, and encounter. This is a profound work, complex and cannily observed, a landscape welcoming of art’s lived circumstance and of the poetic word’s unlived potential, always forthcoming."—ROBERTO TEJADA