For over two decades now, Albert Goldbarth has been cultivating his own hybrid essay variety. A marriage of warmth and intelligence, his essays are narratively driven but poetically lyrical, and openly personal while remaining dedicated to the pleasures of arcane research. “These are a whole new breed,” Robert Atwan writes. “Albert Goldbarth has spliced strands of the old genre with a powerful new gene, and the results are miraculous.”
In Griffin, that crossbred creature comprised of eagle, lion, and serpent, Albert Goldbarth joins two essays to form one animal. “Roman Erotic Poetry,” written on the cusp of a friend’s divorce, explores that strangely compound beast we call marriage. “Wuramon,” written on the cusp of a friend’s struggle with cancer, considers that strangely compound being every one of us is: an amalgam of spirit and physical body. The resulting book is eccentric, learned, and moving.
“Albert Goldbarth is a master mixer, moving from the colloquial to the highbrow, from the decent to the circumspect, from sex to quantum physics… His interests are various and judicious. He is also supremely entertaining.” – Village Voice
“Goldbarth marries emotions, thoughts, and events we never thought to see in proximity to one another: through his genius we rediscover the world’s history and our own.” – Frederick Busch
“Supercharged with eclectic information and often quite moving, Goldbarth’s literary essays are an unmitigated delight.” – Publisher’s Weekly
Albert Goldbarth is the author of four previous books of essays, including Many Circles: New and Selected Essays, which received the annual PEN West Award for Creative Nonfiction. He is also the author of a novel, Pieces of Payne, and of numerous collections of poetry, two of which have received the National Book Critics Circle Award.


Essay Press is pleased to announce the two winners of the 2016 Essay Press Open Book Contest judged by Carla Harryman: Litany for the Long Moment by Mary-Kim Arnold and Of Sphere by Karla Kelsey, which will be published in Fall 2017.