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Gill Ott
Within Range

1986
poems & prose
24 pages, letterpress, 2 colors, saddlestitched
signed ed ISBN 978-1-886224-47-6 $20

Part III of the poem-in-progress, TRAFFIC. Formally derived from the Zen koan, the poems represent an almost geological uncovering of intent and occasion, while their prose commentaries take exegesis to its most ambiguous position. Like the koan practice, the poems of this reflective book are meant not to instruct but to raise questions.

Identified both with the "Language" poets and with Cid Corman's Origin circle, Gil Ott has remained independent, both in his writing and as the editor of the journal Paper Air and of Singing Horse Press.


"...quite abstract, intense description of a single condition or action."

--Elliot Krieger, The Providence Sunday Journal


"Ott's success may lie in the precise focus of the image he presents. Then this image is immediately supplanted with an equally sharp (but different) image... connections between relationships, disparity, illumination seem poignantly within reach. It is a beautiful poem."

--Elizabeth Robinson, Entropic Paradigm


"Ott's voluntary poverty of language creates pieces as bare and reaction-time-altering as a Zen rock garden."

--Bill Bamberger, New Pages


"Like a good Zen master Ott does not interpret or name and thereby limit the poem, but instead he opens it further. He enlarges the language within which he speaks."

--Dennis Barone, Reality Studios