Simon Perchik
Hands Collected: The Books
of Simon Perchik
(Poems 1949-1999)
ed. David Baratier

Paperback Edition
612 pages
Perfect bound, olive green cover,
with quotes from famous people

Hardcover Edition
612 Pages
Perfect Bound, Gold impressed lettering
Printed on Acid Free Paper
Limited Edition of 25 copies

Let others jockey for position. Perchik's poems are obdurant and honest and will reach those who need them most.
-- James Tate

These are poems with fresh insights sticking out all over them and they ought to give pleasure to anyone whose mind is still open to new poetry.
-- X.J. Kennedy

At Corinth, two temples stood next to one another: one to violence and one to necessity. Mr. Perchik's poems attend both temples, and are often terrifying compressions of the violence in simple daily acts. He makes dense and sometimes brutal poems with all the implicit tenderness of a full man.
-- Paul Blackburn

I was delighted to hear from Mr. Perchik, as I always am, and read his poems with my usual pleasure in his feeling and language, and with great avidity therefore, and only had that falling--feeling at that point which he must know himself, that the human does have that thing in it which, let in, at least to expression, levies something (example, say, family reference of the person etc. -- the social -- as against that inner good, virtue, no matter what the filthy eighteenth century did to that too ((as well as it did to the contract social)). So much of what Perchik does include (but leaves it at the heart level) is this important thing, and I always hear it, as he knows, in what he does.
-- Charles Olson

Every country, every culture has its unsung masters, as indeed does every art form. Perchik is American poetry's unsung master-- a true original, a writer who follows his solitary path, ignoring the currents of fashion. Some of us --small groups of enthusiasts scattered across the globe-- have taken this work into our hearts and try to share it with a world that often does not have time for originality on this scale. I for one enjoy this poetry; I do not study it, or pore over it; I read it. And then I read it again, because with every reading it becomes obvious what a master Simon Perchik really is.
-- Tony Frazer

Simon Perchik's extraordinary lyric talent is one of the best kept secrets in contemporary American poetry. Perchik's performances are superior to those of most contemporaries, avoiding safe closet dramas and reflexive ironies. Again and again, elemental tokens--rain and stone, pairs of signature hands--establish a mythic field for the complex interplay of memory and desire so essential to the lyric's fierce struggle against oblivion. Clever conceits and surreal leaps orchestrate very personal material into archetypal configurations that approach transcendence.
-- Edward Butscher

Simon Perchik, as one in a community of poets, should be welcomed into the fold. He can teach us how to be different from each other, as we think we are, but need to be reminded by one like Perchik that the difference should be original...
-- David Ignatow

What is always clear...is that this is a complex, lyrical vision of the commonplace. Even a meager narrative is hardly worth noticing, finally, in the midst of these exquisite imaginings. It is the constant struggle in this process which empowers his poetry, and provides tension in his lyric.
-- Naton Leslie

Simon Perchik's poetry is harshly urban, its tone established by violent verbs (yank, twirl, rake, cock, attack) and equivalent nouns (buzz, risk, jet, rock, clank) by means of which it purges itself of song and sentimentality. And its images are tough: "At five / the office buildings in Manhattan / grow a hollowed spine", "one young maple / screams insensibly with reds and yellows"; "July's jet fight / on top the heart". Sometimes it becomes a private poetry, a quality intensified by Mr. Perchik's omission of all titles, so that it is hard to find the centers of thought or feeling or observation it clusters around. Yet allusions to birds and flight express a gently recurrent yearning, and images of mirrors and photographs imply a search through the self, of which, perhaps, the poems are agglomerated fragments. And the forms are tight. Lines click into place, and, despite occasional obscurities, these are few serious confusions. It is a poetry hard to feel but intellectually alive ... Working close to the deeper sources of poetry, in modes reflecting individuality and technical determination, Mr. Perchik is the most original....
-- Donald W. Baker, in Poetry

Perchik's poetry is an intensely personal, high--voltage vision, formalized into poetry by compression, crisp language, and sharp nervous rhythms. Like the best poets of our age, he works directly from his own "local" -- immediate daily life. No angelic ravings, no subway visions for this man. Instead, a tough urban wit and an almost
successfully--hidden gentleness.
-- Frederick Eckman

The flash and swirl of images in the hands of a less gifted poet would be indulgent--here they explode from a central potency: Perchik's emotional maelstrom sucks up all manner of objects. We soar and spin, secure only in the felt knowledge that he will let us down revivified, somehow more complete than we were before we entered his world.
-- Robert Peters

Simon Perchik was born December 24, 1923 in Paterson, New Jersey. He is a graduate of New York University having received a B.A. in English and LLB in Law. As a pilot during World War II, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal w/three Oak Leaf Clusters, ETO Ribbon w/three Battle Stars, and the Presidential Unit Citation. Following admission to the New York Bar in 1951, he was in private law practice, save for five years as Assistant District Attorney for Suffolk County, New York. He has seventeen collections of poetry published to his credit and continues to be widely published in many periodicals including The New Yorker, The Nation, International Poetry Review, Partisan Review, Massachusetts Review and the Southern Poetry Review. Mr. Perchik continues to reside in East Hampton, New York with his family.