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Poetry. The general theme of this book, and a number of its individual poems, is that love and language create community. There is little self- reference and confession. Set in Gloucester, New York, or Paris, in Panama or Newtown, the poems come from a commitment to civic poetry, a poetry of social place and witness. Civic poetry is poems written for the public on community topics; poetry accessible to an attentive, general audience. And since it is often meant to be read in public, civic poetry relies on sound and familiar forms: rhyming tricks, assonance, consonance, regular rhythms, refrain and stanza, couplets, etc. And of course, civic poetry, like all poetry, is insightful, well-crafted and fresh, never talks down, and is never watered down. Besides accessibility, sound, rhythm, and freshness, there is another necessary ingredient in civic poetry: hope. Not innocent or immature hope, nothing naive. It may be a battered hope, even diminished, but is not cowed or faint, remains brassy, unabashed. Civic poetry makes no apologies for believing in our stressed and distorted, but wonderful national experiment.
author site poems @ Black Cat Poems
John J. Ronan is a poet, playwright and journalist. He is also president of American Storyboard, Inc., a non-profit charitable corporation that makes documentary videos. His poetry has appeared in scores of national magazines and reviews, including New England Review, Threepenny Review, Southern Poetry Review, The Hollins Critic, Notre Dame Review, and The Recorder. His books include MARROWBONE LAND (The Backwaters Press, 2009), John J. Ronan: Greatest Hits 1975-2000 (Pudding House Publications, 2001), The Curable Corpse (Folly Cove Books, 2009), and The Catching Self (Folly Cove Books, 1996). His work was also included in an anthology of prize-winning poetry, Sad Little Breathings, edited by Heather McHugh and published in hardcopy and electronically by PublishingOnline in 2001. In 1999, Ronan was named a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Literature. He is also a former Bread Loaf Scholar and Ucross Fellow. In June of 2008 he was named Poet Laureate of Gloucester, Massachusetts. His website is theronan.org. Author City: GLOUCESTER, MA USA