Lucien Stryk

Lucien Stryk is the prize–winning author and editor of more than two dozen volumes of poetry, translations, and edited collections.

Listed in: Poetry · Asian Studies · American Literature · Asian Literature · Literary Studies




And Still Birds Sing · New and Collected Poems
By Lucien Stryk

Written over a career that spans five decades, And Still Birds Sing is the masterwork of a major voice in American poetry.

“Though one of America’s finest contemporary poets, Lucien Stryk may also be one of its most subtle presences; and those not familiar with Stryk’s work will find this a wonderfully inclusive introduction.”

Virginia Quarterly Review




Cage of Fireflies · Modern Japanese Haiku
By Lucien Stryk

Haiku at its best is an art in which the poet takes a natural, most ordinary event, and without fuss, ornament or inflated words makes of it a rare moment—sparely rendered, crystallized into a microcosm which reveals transcendent unity. Small wonder haiku has a growing audience throughout the world.

“…Lucien Styrk has indeed broken new ground, at least for me, in this ambitious collection. The formidable number of poets included in this volume imparts tot he reader a delightful sense of haiku as a living, thriving genre, alive and well in the lands of its birth.”

David G. Lanoue




Dumpling Field · Haiku of Issa
Edited by Lucien Stryk and Noboru Fujiwara

Koyashi Issa (1763-1827), long considered amoung Japan’s four greatest haiku poets (along with Basho, Buson, and Shiki) is probably the best loved. This collection of more than 360 haiku, arranged seasonally and many rendered into English for the first time, attempts to reveal the full range of the poet’s extraordinary life as if it were concentrated within a year.




The first of this new collection’s three parts ranges very widely, from poems of childhood-his own, his children’s, and his grandchild’s-to poems of keen social and political awareness, and on to pieces about his neighbors, about growing more firmly and deeply into a personal place.

“The moral grandeur of Lucien Stryk’s poetry emerges specifically from his ability to reveal, to accept, and to forgive… even the darker edges of human experience, because to do so is to awaken to, and to be fully aware of, our own most profound humanity…that is akin to Whitman’s assertion nothing human is alien to me.”

A. Poulin, Jr., Contemporary American Poetry




Lucien Stryk’s poetry is made of simple things—frost on a windowpane at morning, ducks moving across a pond, a neighbor’s fuss over his lawn—set into language that is at once direct and powerful. Years of translating Zen poems and religious texts have helped give Stryk a special sense of the particular, a feel for those details which, because they are so much a part of our lives, seem to define us.

“Like Japanese art, the poetry of Lucien Stryk is spare, compressed, and simple—minimalist art at its very best. But Stryk is no Japanese, and his representations of tornadoes, elm trees, willows, and farms revitalize these primary images of midland America. Without them there could be no Midwest; and Stryk deserves the gratitude of his readers for helping to rescue this precious world from oblivion.”

Daniel L. Guillory, Millikin University, Midamerica XII




Lucien Stryk’s poetry is spare and quiet, but intensely powerful. Selected Poems brings together nearly all his published work, including all the poems from Notes for a Guidebook, The Pit and Other Poems, and Awakening, as well as new and previously uncollected poems.

“[Lucien Stryk] is an American master, guiding us easily again and again to the ordinary world we tend to look past and wherein is lodged the undiscovered unity of all things.”

Anthony Piccione, Chicago Review




The sharpness of Lucien Stryk’s poetry is made of simple things—frost on a windowpane at morning, ducks moving across a pond, an argument flailing in the distance, a neighbor's fuss over his lawn—set down in a language that is at once direct and powerful. Awakening is, in large part, an approach to what is most familiar by a poet whose language and poetic attention have found their own maturity.