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Works by
James Schuyler
[November 9, 1923 - April 12, 1991]

Profile created January 25, 2008
  • Alfred and Guinevere (1958)
    One of the finest American poets of the second half of the twentieth century, James Schuyler was at the same time a remarkable novelist. Alfred and Guinevere are two children who have been sent by their parents to spend the summer at their grandmother's house in the country. There they puzzle over their parents' absence and their relatives' habits, play games and pranks, make friends and fall out with them, spat and make up. Schuyler has a pitch-perfect ear for the children's voices, and the story, told entirely through snatches of dialogue and passages from Guinevere's diary, is a tour de force of comic and poetic invention. The reader discovers that beneath the book's apparently guileless surface lies a very sophisticated awareness of the complicated ways in which words work to define the often perilous boundaries between fantasy and reality, innocence and knowledge.

  • Salute (1960)

  • Freely Espousing: Poems By James Schuyler (1969, 1979)

  • A Nest of Ninnies (1969, 1987) by James Schuyler and John Ashbery

  • Verge (1971)

  • The Crystal Lithium (1972)

  • A Sun Cab (1972)

  • Hymn to Life: Poems (1974)

  • The Fireproof Floors of Witley Court; English Songs and Dances (1976, United Kingdom Amazon)

  • Song (1976)

  • What's for Dinner? (1978)
    James Schuyler's utterly original What's for Dinner? features a cast of characters who appear to have escaped from a Norman Rockwell painting to run amok. In tones that are variously droll, deadpan, and lyrical, Schuyler tells a story that revolves around three small-town American households. The Delehanteys are an old-fashioned Catholic family whose twin teenage boys are getting completely out of hand, no matter that their father is hardly one to spare the rod. Childless Norris and Lottie Taylor have been happily married for years, even as Lottie has been slowly drinking herself to death. Mag, a recent widow, is on the prowl for love. Retreating to an institution to dry out, Lottie finds herself caught up in a curious comedy of group therapy manners. At the same time, however, she begins an ascent from the depths of despair—illuminated with the odd grace and humor that readers of Schuyler's masterful poetry know so well—to a new understanding, that will turn her into an improbable redeemer within an unlikely world.

    What's for Dinner? is among the most delightful and unusual works of American literature. Charming and dark, off-kilter but pedestrian, mercurial yet matter-of-fact, Schuyler's novel is an alluring invention that captures both the fragility and the tenacity of ordinary life.

  • The Morning of the Poem (1980) -- Winner 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

  • Early in '71 (1982)

  • A Few Days (1985)

  • James Schuyler (1988)

  • Selected Poems (1988, 1990, 2007)
    One hundred poems from the breadth of the Pulitzer prizewinner's career, including much work from his early books which has long been unavailable.

  • Poems and Diaries (1991)

  • Collected Poems (1993) -- Winner, 1993 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Poetry
    This collection of poetry showcases the unique talent of James Schuyler and highlights the writing that won him a Pulitzer Prize.

  • Two Journals (1995) by Darragh Park and James Schuyler

  • The Diary of James Schuyler (1996), Nathan Kernan, ed.

  • Selected Art Writings (1998), Simon Pettet, ed.
    This book presents Schuyler's essays and articles composed mostly for the influential trade periodical Art News during his tenure as associate editor (1957-1962). A vivid composite portrait of the New York art scene of that time, this selection includes pieces on such artists as Gorky, Pollock, Rothko, Kline, Frankenthaler, Rivers, Rauschenberg and, of course, Fairfield Porter. Many articles are illustrated with photographs of the work.

  • Last Poems (1999)


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