Archive | September, 2008

The Passion of James K. Baxter: Part II

II. Unnamed ghosts trouble Baxter as much as those he addresses specifically; when local and personal history intermingle in the Jerusalem Sonnets, crises of faith tend to arise, as in the twenty-fifth sonnet: The brown river, te taniwha, flows on . . . —he can also be A brutal lover; they say he sucked under […]

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Disching It Out

About the Size of It by Tom Disch. Anvil Press Poetry Ltd, 2007. As Reviewed By: Dan Brown Tom Disch’s first book of poems in ten years has the heft you’d expect of a collection so long in preparation: eighty poems spanning almost 150 long-format pages. The book is divided into sections whose titles speak […]

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In Memoriam: Tom Disch (1940 – 2008)

As Reviewed By: Ben Downing It was his sonnet “A Bookmark” that first caught my attention. “Four years ago I started reading Proust,” the poem begins, and goes on to skewer Remembrance of Things Past and its mincing narrator-“Oh, what a slimy sort he must have been- / So weak, so sweetly poisonous, so fey!”-with […]

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Hefty Measures

About the Size of It by Tom Disch. Anvil, 160 pages, $16.95 As Reviewed By: Eric Ormsby It takes a brave poet these days to praise the beauties of obesity. Our poets tend to celebrate emaciated muses, often in verses as spindly as their beloveds. It wasn’t always so. Arab poets, in the days before […]

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Tom Disch: Work Ethicist of American Poetry

As Reviewed By: Sunil Iyengar “A spiritual life doesn’t require taking Holy Orders, only a decision to submit to a lifelong discipline.” — Thomas M. Disch, 1940-2008 Few American poet-critics since Edgar Allan Poe have brought a practitioner’s knowledge of writing genre fiction to the service of poetry reviewing. It is a commonplace and, like […]

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Thomas M., Meet Tom

Thomas M. Disch. The Priest: A Gothic Romance. Alfred A. Knopf 1995. 352 pp. Tom Disch. Dark Verses & Light. The Johns Hopkins University Press 1991. 144 pp. Tom Disch. Yes, Let’s: New and Selected Poems. The Johns Hopkins University Press 1989. 112 pp. Thomas M. Disch. The Tale of Dan De Lion. (Drawings by […]

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The First Confessionalist: Ernest Hilbert Interviews W. D. Snodgrass

“John Berryman took his place, but Berryman soon got into trouble—he got drunk and wrecked his room, and the police threw him out of town.”

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