miami university


Neither World


Ralph Angel

1995. ISBN: 1-881163-12-1 / 1-881163-13-X

Neither World book cover


Neither World is the winner of the 1995 James Laughlin Award of The Academy of American Poets.

“A fully realized book of poems — which is just what Ralph Angel’s award-winning new volume, Neither World, is — performs a strange feat of magic. It both evokes a landscape that's already there, describing some chosen portion of the outer world, and takes us to a new interior dimension of that landscape... Angel’s poems are stamped indelibly with the mark of a unique, shaping imagination, and they’re fresh with the news of how it feels to live right now.”
—Mark Doty in The Los Angeles Times

Neither World more than fulfills the promise of Ralph Angel’s early work. He is now a major voice in poetry.”
—John Ashbery

“These fiery, trenchant poems illumine the recesses of our labyrinthine consciousness with fierce wit and intelligence. Neither World abounds with surprises and delights that defy familiar categories.”
—James Tate

“Ralph Angel makes visible the liminal: those almost unbearable states that hover near the threshold of perception. This is a poetics of trace and trance, accident and significance, rightly odd details, and speakers who are ‘electrified / by earth shoes, a solitary goat dance, / the weird expanse of parking lots, / glittering, peopled with loneliness.’ Angel combines the drop-dead nonchalance of film noir, the cool jazz of Chet Baker, and epiphanies of demise when he writes ‘it takes / practice to get lost, paint with our own hair, burrow deeply / into shadows of flesh coming undone at the seams.’ He eavesdrops on the American psyche and retrieves the somatic residue of speech within the dream-defiled paradise that is Southern California. In the absence of satiation, he makes a haven of longing. I am intoxicated by the fine strangeness of his work.”
—Alice Fulton

About the Author

Ralph Angel

Ralph Angel is the author of one previous book of poems, Anxious Latitudes. He has received a Fulbright Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, and the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry.

His poems have appeared in such journals as The American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, The Antioch Review, and Poetry.

He teaches in the writing program at the University of Redlands in California.

Author Photo by: Debra L. Smith