Author: Constance Merritt

Works Published by UNT Press

A Protocol for Touch

— Vol. 7: of Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry

Published: February, 2000  Pages: Features: 80.

“Constance Merritt is a poet to defeat categories, to oppose ‘the tyranny of names’ with a poetry that sets its own terms of encounter, its ‘protocols of touch’—tender and austere, formal and intimate at once. Hers is a voice with many musics, sufficiently rich, nuanced and various to express, maintain poise and wrest meaning from the powerful cross-currents in which the heart is torn. I have seldom seen intelligence equal to such a scorching degree of intensity, or mastery of form so equal to passion’s contradictory occasions. Merritt’s prosodic range is prodigious—she moves in poetic forms as naturally as a body moves in its skin, even as her lines ring with the cadenced authority of a gifted and schooled ear. Here, in her words, the iambic ground bass is in its vital questioning mode: “The heart’s insistent undersong: how live?/how live? How live?” this poetry serves no lesser necessity than to ask that.” —Eleanor Wilner more... about A Protocol for Touch

  • Poetry Society of America William Carlos Williams Book Award, runner-up, 2001
  • Winner of the Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry, 1999