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Reviews

"The ambitious span of Future Perfect arcs from prehistory to the atomic age, with stops in Corinth, Rome, Parkchester, and elsewhere. In poem after poem eloquently parsing our species' rich and fearful heritage, Charles Martin's urbanity both brightens and heightens the gloom of his searchingly ironic vision. Future Perfect is a wise and multilayered book to savor, ponder, and return to."

"Charles Martin’s poetry is the best of company, witty and wise and engaging, all the while reminding us that we are only human and have been for millennia. The poems of Future Perfect will, I believe, see us through whatever the future holds."

"Charles Martin is one of America’s best poets and translators, comparable to Auden in his humanity, intellectual vitality, and formal range. Future Perfect launches from the lives of others and from the poet’s own autobiography. It soars and brings us trenchantly down to earth. A performance of perfection."

"For readers still enamored of the craft as well as the art of poetry, there is no better exemplar of either from my own generation than Charles Martin, whose previous collection, Signs and Wonders, placed his formal abilities on impressive display. His new book, Future Perfect, is even more stunning, with brilliantly executed poems in a wide range of forms, including especially the title sonnet sequence and five marvelous poems on the legendary Weldon Kees. American poetry has produced several unusually strong books over the past few years, but none stronger than Future Perfect."