Fever of Unknown Origin: Poems
A collection of profound and piercing poems from a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize about navigating the modern world in search of beauty that will endure
Fever of Unknown Origin opens at a remote crossroads, where the speaker considers the intersection of history, beauty, and destruction: “the past / is paper / and the present, a match . . .” What follows is an urgent tour of landscapes—environmental, political, and personal—that reframes our perception of modern America and leads the reader into “An empire of rags and photons” where we must look to the past to clarify our futures.
With sublime wit and a Whitmanian eye, McGrath delivers a stunning collection of warnings, love letters, and praise songs for all that manages to weather the perennial pressures of time: frog ponds, stadium rubble, and the endless cycle of seasons, which usher us deeper into an era we cannot yet know.
About the Author
CAMPBELL McGRATH is the author of eleven books of poetry, most recently Nouns & Verbs: New and Selected Poems, and XX: Poems for the Twentieth Century, a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize. His writing has been recognized with a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award,” a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, and a United States Artists Fellowship. He lives with his wife in Miami Beach, and teaches in the MFA program at Florida International University.
Praise for Fever of Unknown Origin: Poems
“At every moment in these powerful, supple, beautifully meditated poems, Campbell McGrath immerses himself in what he calls the ‘riot of stimuli,’ while at the same time, at every moment, he emerges from his immersions with pellucid images and stunning perceptions and rises into vision, dimension, grace. An astonishing book, capacious and intimate, and one that provokes endless thought and feeling.”
—Vijay Seshadri, author of That Was Now, This Is Then