‘On Being Debonair’
Seidel’s controversial first book, Final Solutions, set the tone for a career spanning fifty years. Stripped of an award on the grounds of causing offence, the incident was a defining moment in Seidel’s career, and one that he would repeat in subsequent books by consciously trying to offend—or at least, to shock—his readers Random House published Final Solutions the following year, but seventeen years would pass before Seidel published another work. His second book, Sunrise, was the 1980 Lamont Poetry Selection and Going Fast was a finalist for the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
His collection, The Cosmos Poems, was commissioned by the American Museum of Natural History to celebrate the opening of the new Hayden Planetarium in 2000, and he won the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry in 2002.
His collection Ooga-Booga was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and was shortlisted for the 2007 International Griffin Poetry Prize. A limited run of his most recent collection of new verse, Evening Man was published in 2008. The following year saw the publication of the career-spanning anthology Poems:1959-2009.
Seidel specially selected On Being Debonair to be read on film for The Art of Tailoring. The piece is read by Dr Toby Haggith and filmed by Damon Cleary.