Garrett Caples is the author of three previous poetry books, Power Ballads (Wave Books, 2016), Complications (2007), and The Garrett Caples Reader (1999), a collection of outtakes, The Rise & Fall of Johnny Volume (2020), and a bilingual selection, Noches Apátridas (Unstated Nights, 2019). He’s also written a book of essays, Retrievals (2014), and a pamphlet, Quintessence of the Minor (2010). He’s the editor of Philip Lamantia’s Preserving Fire: Selected Prose (2018), Samuel Greenberg’s Poems from the Greenberg MSS (2019), and Michael McClure’s Mule Kick Blues and Last Poems (2021), as well as the co-editor of The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia (2013), Particulars of Place (2015) by Richard O. Moore, Incidents of Travel in Poetry: New and Selected Poems (2016) by Frank Lima, and Arcana: A Stephen Jonas Reader (2019). He is an editor at City Lights Books, where he curates the Spotlight Poetry Series. He has a PhD in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and lives in San Francisco.
(Photo by Suzanne Kleid)
[The Garrett Caples Reader] displays genuine intellectual engagement along with its playful exuberance, making for a most winning combination.
Caples supplies us with a full aesthetic meal, with alarming images right out of the French Surrealists. He also means what he says; regardless of any implications to the contrary, Caples is writing out of emotion, even well-done sentiment.
—Max Winter, Rain Taxi
I adore [Caples’] prescription to read widely and even perversely; and his breezy style is engaging--despite the weighty title, the essay feels like some chunk of a great conversation you'd have over a couple of beers. And we need more poets weighing in on things the way he has here...
With a supply of thumbnail biographies that read like the most improbable fiction, and a leisurely but learned style, Caples makes the minor seem major.
—Ed Park, The Poetry Foundation
Reviews of books by Garrett Caples
Quintessence of the Minor
- "Tratatus" (on Bear Books)
- “Sundial Tone” (in Granta)
- “Aubade” (in Poetry)
- “Ordinary History America” (in Poetry)
- “Richard O. Moore Imagined as a Bob Dylan Song” (in OmniVerse)
- Bookslut, with Patrick James Dunagan
- PhillySound, with CAConrad
- Otolith, with Eileen Tabios
Articles by Garrett Caples
- “How to Rhyme” in Concrescent
- “Surrealism Is a Romantic Critique of the Avant-Garde from Within” in The Poetry Foundation
- “Kerouac as Poet: A Response to Cedar Sigo” in The Poetry Foundation
- “Two Chicagos” in The Poetry Foundation
- “The Secret Life of Sylvia Fein” in The San Francisco Bay Guardian
- “Homage to Ralph Nader” in The Brooklyn Rail
Reading with Andrew Joron for the release of The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia:
Reading three poems: