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Selected Poems 1965-2000 collects material from Gilfillan’s books of poetry up through 1999’s Satin Street and swatches of unpublished work from 1965 to 2000. Gilfillan’s observations, etymologies, and riffs on classical and modern forms are constructed by equal parts naturalist and aesthete. He employs a seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of the literary and visual arts, philosophical treatises, musical forms, the natural world, and the everyday language that gets spoke along rivers.


Merrill Gilfillan was born in Ohio in 1945 and raised there. He attended the University of Michigan, graduating in 1967, where he won the Major Hopwood Prize for poetry in his senior year. He attended the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop for two years, studying with Ted Berrigan, Anselm Hollo, and George Starbuck, among others. Gilfillan's recent publications include Red Mavis (2014) and Talk across Water: Stories Selected and New (2019), both by Flood Editions, and a book of poems, Stars Seen Then, from Partly Press (2019). He lived and worked in New York City for eight years, and then moved to Colorado, where he wrote several books of sketches from the Great Plains, including Magpie Rising, which won a PEN award. He now makes his home in Asheville, North Carolina.


Adventures in Poetry began publishing in 1968 as a mimeographed “little magazine,” and continued through 1976 with individual pamphlets, featuring work by Ted Berrigan, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Bernadette Mayer, Frank O’Hara, James Schuyler, John Ashbery, Anne Waldman, and many others. After a long hiatus, it began publishing books by established and new innovative writers that are available exclusively through Zephyr Press.

Selected Poems 1965-2000

  • Selected Poems 1965-2000

    Merrill Gilfillan


    136 pages


    ISBN 978-0976161226

  • “The strongest poems feature a solitary, omniscient observer responding to the sky and land…. Deceptively simple, these poems reveal new beauties with each reading.”— Publishers Weekly


    "If John Clare had toured the United States with Oscar Wilde, their notebooks, twisted together in a tornado and edited by Audubon and Escoffier, might have read like these poems: evocative, sophisticated, and as ever-in-the-present as memory must always be."— Tom Raworth

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