Poetry. Literary Nonfiction. CONSTANT STRANGER spotlights the accomplishments and enduring influence of the poet Frank Stanford (1948-1978). The book comprises a mix of republished and brand-new tributes, translations, recollections, critical essays, interviews, and more.
"CONSTANT STRANGER collects 'tributes' and dedicatory poems by Wright, Ralph Adamo, Forrest Gander, Ada Limón and others; recollections; literary-critical studies; a handful of poems translated into Spanish; and 'after Frank Stanford,' twenty-one poems by mostly young poets clearly both intrigued and troubled by Stanford's unsettling legacy. Some of the most compelling pieces in the volume scratch at or, in the case of Ginny Crouch Stanford's spellbinding prose poem 'Requiem,' explode the myth of this 'swamprat Rimbaud' (as Lorenzo Thomas called him) without diminishing the pull of his poetic imagination or the lure of his storytelling powers. Others demonstrate how the striking imagery, forceful rhythms and complex allusiveness of his best poems transcend any pigeonholing of his work as Southern regionalism. Two critical essays tackle the multiple registers and stream-of-consciousness structure of The Battlefield, a work that one admirer opined might be 'our Ulysses.' "Despite such bold comparisons and a growing number of young acolytes, Stanford remains on the margins of American literature, particularly in the academy. Two fine studies in this volume by young American scholars who completed postgraduate work on Stanford—not in New Haven or Berkeley but rather in Dublin and Lund—only reaffirm the outsider status of his advocates. Yet Stanford's work once attracted admiring responses from John Berryman and Allen Ginsberg and has continued to fascinate such different near-contemporaries as Ellen Gilchrist and Eileen Myles. The diverse voices assembled in CONSTANT STRANGER suggest the time is right for common readers to discover this 'poet's poet' as well."—Leo A. Lensing, The Times Literary Supplement"CONSTANT STRANGER offers readers a place to explore and to problematize the wholly unique effects of his poems, and to grapple with the charismatic but flawed poet behind them... As a whole, CONSTANT STRANGER creates the sensation that to commune with Frank Stanford is to become lost in a labyrinth of poetry, personality, and myth, which itself is woven into an idealized, rural South... The anthology is an excellent catalyst and aid to continue puzzling over Frank Stanford."—Jack Christian, Rain Taxi ReviewContributors include Ralph Adamo, Donald Berger, Adam Clay, Gerry Crinnin, Paul Dean, Leo Dunsker, Noah Falck, Patricio Ferrari, Forrest Gander, Zack Grabosky, Anya Groner, Graciela Susana Guglielmone, R.S. Gwynn, Terrance Hayes, Canese Jarboe, Justin Karcher, Sophie Klahr, Ada Limon, Ata Moharreri, Bridget O'Bernstein, Murray Shuggars, Ginny Crouch Stanford, Steve Stern, Jody Stewart, Leon Stokesbury, Bronwen Tate, Brad Trumpfheller, A.P. Walton, Chet Weise, John Wood, C.D. Wright, David Wright.
Jack Christian @ Rain Taxi