Collected Shorter Poems presents hundreds of lyric, short narrative, comic, meditative, nature, and erotic poems that Hayden Carruth wrote over a forty-five year period. This is a reissue of the book, with new cover design. Noted for the breadth of his linguistic and formal resources, influenced by jazz and the blues, Carruth gives his poems a philosophical resonance. His explorations of rural poverty and hardship— sometimes grim, sometimes funny—are deeply informed by political radicalism and cultural responsibility.
For decades Carruth has been admired by other writers for his use of varied forms and styles, and, as did Frost before him, he has won the loyalty of many readers with his keen observations of language and the everyday. This extensive collection ranges widely, from Hayden Carruth's early 1950s traditional works to his later anti-war poems; from his sensual explorations to more narrative works. Carruth includes what others might discard as ugly, and speaks quietly where others might bombast. It is this quality that makes Carruth a talented poet, unique voice and subtle critic. Collected Shorter Poems, 1946-1991 won a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992.