Humane and haunted. Greg Purcell's poems are characterized by economy, clarity and strength. A subtle violence is in evidence, and bitterness is unconcealed, yet these currents are tempered by compassion and tenderness. Loops break open, vary, and with satisfying self-recognition, close again, building whole chains of discovery. Puzzles are being solved somewhere in the universe, right this very minute.The work in The Fundaments will excite your curiosity, and if you are like me, you will return to this book again and again, because when the book is closed, the poems are changing, and each time you open it something new appears.
"In Greg Purcell's tour de force, The Fundaments, a nameless, intrepid 'he' morphs into a panoply of curious personae — becoming everything from a cowboy, a dilettante, Gilgamesh, Emily Dickinson, Imagism, a hand-bag, and more. His playful role-playing encompasses not only people, but also objects, movements, and ideas. It is a thoroughly post-Whitman song that questions, as much as it celebrates, the notion of self. These poems are like blunt objects—'lilting heavy'—but with something elusive remaining. 'In the weather, in the box/ In the standpipes alone./ In the box.// A feather.'"
Greg Purcell’s poetry has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, The Agriculture Reader, Open City and New American Writing, and has been anthologized in A Best of Fence: The First Nine Years. He is a founder of the Connecticut River Valley Poet's Theater, and he lives in Amherst, MA, with his partner Ish Klein.