Frank Stanford

Special Edition: Hidden Water Package


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“The big event in poetry for 2015 will likely be the long-awaited resurrection of Frank Stanford, a legendary badass from Arkansas, much of whose poetry has been unavailable since his suicide at the age of 29 in 1978… Stanford was a hell of a metaphor-maker and simile-slinger, and could cast a spell of extreme intensity with a flick of his wrist.”—"

His love poems can sound like the cry of an angel falling backward through an open window, to borrow Dwight Yoakam’s line about Roy Orbison’s voice . . . . Mr. Stanford could lose his heart without blowing his cool.”—New York Times, 2015"It is astounding to me that I was not even aware of this accomplished and moving poet. There is a great deal of pain on the poems, but it is a pain that makes sense, a tragic pain whose meaning rises from the way the poems are so firmly molded and formed from within."—James Wright

The Hidden Water Special Edition features two books of Frank Stanford’s work: Third Man Books own Hidden Water is bundled in a custom slipcase with the 764 page hardcover title What About This published by Copper Canyon Press. Also included are two frameable broadsides featuring poems and artwork by Stanford, and, to top it off, a reproduction of Stanford’s own notepad.


Hidden Water: From the Frank Stanford Archives is 200 pages of unpublished poems, facsimiles, artwork, photos, handwrtten drafts, and letters. The third single-author title from Third Man Books is a must read for those who appreciate both Stanford and American poetry.

*Features unpublished poems, drafts, and photos.
*Features unpublished letters between Stanford, Allen Ginsberg, Pulitzer Prize poet Alan Dugan, and others.
*Features unseen artwork by Ginny Stanford.
*Includes an appreciation written by award winning author and Stanford’s friend Steve Stern.
*Copper Canyon Press’s Michael Wiegers is the co-editor (with TMB’s Chet Weise) and wrote the Preface.
*Complements Copper Canyon's best selling collection What About This.
*Includes link to audio by special guests and more.




Largely out of print and unavailable for decades, the singular poetic voice of Frank Stanford has been propelled to mythic status in the years since his death in 1978. Upon his suicide at age 29, the poet left behind dozens of unpublished manuscripts, as well as uncollected poems, stories, and fragments--to augment 10 published books of poetry and a collection of short stories. The amount of writing Stanford generated in such a short life is staggering, and his poetry is further solidified beyond its quantity by a confident, ungovernable voice that moves effortlessly among surrealism, colloquial speech, racial politics, cultural memory and "the things which can pass through / your mind when the fish don't bite." This long overdue, comprehensive retrospective collects from all of Stanford's previously published work, together with unpublished manuscripts, ungathered poems, and carefully chosen drafts and fragments. Excerpts (andouttakes) from his 15,283-line poem "The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You," are included to punctuate the collection, alongside sample of rare archival material never before seen in print.


Born in 1948, Frank Stanford was a prolific poet known for his originality and ingenuity. He has been dubbed "a swamp rat Rimbaud" by Lorenzo Thomas and "one of the great voices of death" by Franz Wright. He grew up in Mississippi, Tennessee, and then Arkansas, where he lived for most of his life and wrote many of his most powerful poems. Stanford died in 1978. He authored over ten books of poetry, including eight volumes in the last seven years of his life.

Third Man Records