Eric Basso

Eric Basso

Eric Basso (April 23, 2003)

Eric Basso was born in Baltimore in 1947. His work has appeared in Asylum Annual, Bakunin, Central Park, Chicago Review, Collages & Bricolages, Exquisite Corpse, Fiction International, and many other publications. His novel, Bartholomew Fair, is available from Asylum Arts. He is the author of twenty-one plays. His critically acclaimed drama trilogy, The Golem Triptych; the complete short plays, Enigmas; his play The Sabbatier Effect; a book of short fiction, The Beak Doctor; and five collections of poetry, Accidental Monsters, The Catwalk Watch, The Smoking Mirror, Catafalques, and Ghost Light, are available from Asylum Arts, along with Decompositions: Essays on Art & Literature 1973-1989 and Revagations: 1966-1974,the first volume of a book of dreams.Basso’s most recent previous collection of poems, Earthworks, was published by Six Gallery Press in 2008.
Eric Basso’s books include:

  • Accidental Monsters : Poems & Texts, 1976 (Asylum Arts Press, 1 November 1998)
  • Bartholomew Fair : A Novel (Asylum Arts Press, 1 October 1999)
  • Catafalques : Poems, 1987–1989 (Asylum Arts Press, 15 November 1999)
  • Decompositions : Essays on Art & Literature, 1973–1989 (Asylum Arts Press, 1 November 2006)
  • Enigmas: Short Plays, 1979–1982 (Asylum Arts Press)
  • Ghost Light: Poems, 1990–1994 (Asylum Arts Press, 1 December 1999)
  • Revagations: A Book of Dreams, Volume 1: 1966–1974 (Asylum Arts Press, 1 November 2006)
  • The Beak Doctor : Short Fiction, 1972–1976 (Asylum Arts Press, 1 May 1999)
  • The Catwalk Watch : Poems, 1977–1979 (Asylum Arts Press, 1 May 1999)
  • The Golem Triptych : A Dramatic Trilogy (Asylum Arts Press, 1 January 1994)
  • The Sabattier Effect : with incidental music composed & arranged by the author (Asylum Arts Press)
  • The Smoking Mirror : Poems, 1980–1986 (Asylum Arts Press, 1 October 1999)
  • Earthworks : Poems (Six Gallery Press, 2008)
  • Umbra : Poems: 1976–1977 (Asylum Arts Press, 12 March 2010)

Praise for the Work of Eric Basso

“Unlike many poets whose work becomes emptied as years pass, Basso deploys his unconscious mind with increasing efficacy and power in successive collections. . . . Basso’s images are concomitantly concrete and impossible to categorize or define. . . . His achievement is more significant, though less well known, than of scores of writers who mechanistically reproduce, year after year, a steadily more prosaic, anemic body of work.”

— Samuel Appelbaum, Rain Taxi Review of Books


“A poetry of celestial mechanics, mysteries that are still, and forever, unfolding. Not a barren defiance, Basso’s vision becomes a fruitful collaboration with the cosmos in the manner of the Navajo shaman who each dawn helps sing the wondrous into existence.”

Kirkus Reviews


“[Eric Basso] remains one of the most interesting writers in the country, someone whose work does not fit conveniently into categories like metafiction or language-centered poetry, but whose poetry, fiction and dramatic writing extend our sense of what terms like modernism and postmodernism mean.”

— Stephen-Paul Martin, “Bashing the Mainstream”


“The plays are memorable, imaginative, sensitive, and deeply gripping. Not only do they recreate the mystery of Rabbi Judah Loew and the Prague of his day, but the atemporal time scheme used by Basso serves to integrate past modalities into contemporary actualities. Gone is the world of pseudo certainties relied upon by many today to keep body and soul afloat. Gone as well is the dividing line between life and death; conscious and unconscious; dream and reality. Instead, presides the infinite unknown with all of its wondrous and terrifying possibilities — both human and divine. That Basso used one of the world’s great myths to comment on today’s as well as on past societies in his remarkable Golem Triptych, is to endow a specific event with universal and eternal implications.”

— Bettina L. Knapp, author of Theatre and Alchemy


“If Kafka and Beckett were to come to life as one, that one would be the avant-garde dramatist-poet Eric Basso…. I cannot imagine a better evening in the theatre than seeing a staging of three of theEnigmas. Taken together, the plays in this handsome volume raise the question of a person’s identity, the manner in which the Other sees the One, and even questions as to the nature of the One. Basso goes beyond realism as he plumbs the depths of a devastating, devastated reality.”

— Rosette Lamont, Cercle de Beckett, in Collages & Bricolages