Sean Singer

Winner of the Norma Farber First Book Award in 2003

Silver Gelatin


Bellocq photographed me yesterday.
Nothing is left out, not even the smell.
I go naked to pick up the Raleigh Rye.
He has a staccato voice like an angry squirrel,
a big waterhead, and is only five feet tall.
I look at the flashbulb like it wants me.
I draw a butterfly on the wall and think
there's a myth about what unfolds from the pupa:
Southern Jezebel, Painted Lady, Sara Orangetip.
Those could be any girl in Storyville.
Tonight our street is a wet, velvet shade,
the girls smoke cigars, and I have no money.
My form rises from the bath in the reddish light.
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Allen Grossman on Sean Singer

Sean Singer is a poet who compels admiration. The important distinction of his first book—Discography—what marks his poetry as gifted and singular—is the fact that the admiration which his work arouses is not for himself, or for his art, but for the art of others and also for arts other than poetry. The urgency that drives Singer's poems, and makes them exceptionally present to the reader, derives from an intuitive alliance with a creative principle which is more interesting than the poet's self or the poem's words. The vitality of Sean Singer's work, the singular intuition in which he will, I trust, continue to allow us to participate, flows from a deep source. I am happy to recommend Discography to the Poetry Society of America as a distinguished recipient of the Norma Farber First Book Award.

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