Browsing: Poetry

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What makes Richard Howard so discomforting and so important (the two in my mind are always linked) was his insatiability, not just as an intellectual, not merely as a translator, critic, and poet, but as a sensibility that could never see enough, never feel enough, never know enough, who wished to feel each moment not just in itself but as part of a continuity of moments that we share together. Nothing could be queerer than this insatiability.

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THE FIRST GLIMPSE I had of Thom Gunn was his picture in a poetry anthology titled The Modern Poets, edited by John Malcolm Brinnin and William Read. It was assigned as a textbook in an English literature class I was taking at Emory University in 1963, with consequences for me that the teacher could not have anticipated. That anthology was the first to include pictures of the poets alongside their selection, a bonus that always makes the reader curious about how the writer’s appearance bears on the work itself.

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Brief reviews of Abuela in Shadow, Abel in Light; Places of Tenderness and Heat; House Fire; Queer Nature; Verdant; Dot & Ralfie; and Immoral, Indecent & Scurrilous.

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BEST KNOWN for her poetry, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle, 1886 –1961) was also a novelist, memoirist, essayist, translator, and famously the lover of one of the richest women in England, Annie Winifred Ellerman (1894–1983), better known as Bryher. H.D. and Bryher were true lovers for over forty years.

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Fernando Pessoa began inventing alternate selves: fictional beings who peopled his imaginary universe and manifested their identities by producing letters, stories, and poems.

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            In Brocken Spectre, the present moment is always haunted, not only by the past, but by the suggestion of something divine that can never be adequately named or proved. The poems grapple with questions of faith from the perspective of an uncertain believer. “Once, I believed in God,” he admits in “Golden Gate Park.” But for all his admitted uncertainty, that space where belief once stood inside him still feels largely occupied. All of the poems remain alert to evidence that there’s more to life than that which we can rationally perceive.

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Reviews of THE ISOLATION ARTIST: Scandal, Deception and the Last Days of Robert Indiana; HE AUDACITY OF A KISS Love, Art, and Liberation; and EDGEMERE.

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IN THIS SWEET debut collection of love poems, What Are the Men Writing in the Sugar?, Matty Bennett puts a first serious gay relationship on a pedestal to admire it from every angle.

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THE CALM, beautifully aged face of the poet Adrienne Rich gazes at the reader from the new book by her friend, Ed Pavlic, who explains that his relationship with Rich began when she (as a contest judge) chose his first book of poems for a prize, and they began exchanging letters in 2001.

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AT AGE 21, John Wieners (1934–2002) was high on poetry. The Black Mountain College student wrote to a friend in the spring of 1955, “I just know now that as long as I live I will be a poet, that my life, way of and function of, will be the writing of poetry, as long as it lasts.” …

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