That They Were at the Beach

By Leslie Scalapino


O Books
Original Language(s)
Additional Credits
Design by David Bullen
Edition, Year
First Edition, 1985
In Print

Published by North Point Press

For this collection of poems and prose, Leslie Scalapino has gathered four sequences into what she calls an “aeolotropic series.” The poems reflect each other like crystals and change like highly polished glass illuminated by a shifting light. They follow the mind from thought and observation to afterthought, reflection, and obsession.

Leslie Scalapino
Leslie Scalapino (1947-2010) was born in Santa Barbara, California and raised in Berkeley. She is the author of thirty books of poetry, prose, inter-genre-fiction, plays, and essays, including a collaboration with artist Kiki Smith, The ... Read More

 A microcosm, but it’s of sailors—though I’m given attention standing in pictures with one or two of the men. They’ve come into a port at one time—I’m immature in age—it doesn’t occur for that reason but is inverted, the sailors flirted with girls. (Which is contemporary in time therefore. And being. mechanical since I’m interested in the sailors, then merely interest). 

— excerpt from That They Were at the Beach 


Praise for That They Were at the Beach

The range and sophistication of Leslie Scalapino’s abilities as a writer have long been impressive. Here she proves the absolute master of a uniquely compact perception and an intelligence that can track a plurality of relationships in very few words indeed. I know of no one more able to bring writing back from its confusion of genres to the authority of specific articulation.

— Robert Creeley

Leslie Scalapino’s poetry is among the most interesting, arresting, and original writing of the present time… It is finally the rhythm of the language and the choral patterns created by her repetitions that create the musical coherence that marks this as poetry of the highest order.

— Charles Bernstein

A major poet, and somebody worth watching very closely through long passages and infinitely subtle variations.

— Andrei Codrescu

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