Early poetry showed the influences of the Black Mountain and New York School poets, particularly Robert Creeley and John Ashbery together with strands from European poetry (Apollinaire), Dada, and Surrealism. His 1974 book Ace saw Raworth move to a more disjunctive style, built from short, unpunctuated lines that entice the reader into following multiple syntactic possibilities, as they knit together everything from observations of the everyday to self-reflexive commentary on the acts of thinking and writing, to affectionate lifts from pulp fiction and film noir, to political satire. A series of long poems in this mode followed—after Ace came Writing (composed 1975-77; published 1982), Catacoustics (composed 1978-81; published 1991) and West Wind (composed 1982-83; published 1984). Subsequent projects have extended this mode into a kaleidoscopic sequence of 14-line poems (not exactly "sonnets") that extended through "Sentenced to Death" (in Visible Shivers, 1987), Eternal Sections (1993) and Survival (1994). Later collections include Clean & Well Lit (1996), Meadow (1999), Caller and Other Pieces (2007) and Let Baby Fall (2008). Raworth's 650-page Collected Poems was published in 2003, though a number of major works remain uncollected, including his uncategorizable prose-work A Serial Biography (1969), a uniquely vertiginous patchwork of autobiography and fiction.
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