Poetry. Edited by Alice Goode-Elman with a foreword by Louis Asekoff. "Richard Elman was an authentic man of letters and of conscience. Writing was his life, writing as an act of personal testimony and witness. At whatever cost he spoke truth to power and however painful, he spoke truth to himself. At his best, he wrote as though there were a direct line from his heart to his hand. While he published highly-praised novels, short stories, essays, memoirs, criticism, social commentary, poetry was for Richard his first love, his daily bread, and his life line. [His poems are] astonishing in [their] immediacy, an urgent communiqué from the front lines of consciousness, the ink hardly dry on the page. All of the previously published poems are enriched [in this collection] by thirty years of several hundred newly collected poems. The poems, like most of Richard Elman's poetry, are 'occasional,' in the sense that they rose from the moment of their conception. At their best they capture that moment in all its immediacy and, at times, transcend it." —Louis Asekoff
"Every lover of poetry will relish this gorgeous collection by the late Richard Elman. I was up all night reading it, and I found myself diving into it again over coffee in the morning, for it rewards study. The poems have the clarity of Larkin or Heaney and the verve of a great New York School poet like Frank O'Hara. At a time when too much poetry concerns itself with abstraction, this insightful, heart-rending poet tackles the broadest range of human experience—love and sex and grief, doubt and terror and joy. Elman doesn't flinch from the hard truths, and the reader is richer for having his words."—Mary Karr
"This capacious collection of Richard's poetry demonstrates a wide range of moods and subjects and a voice that is instantly recognizable for its authenticity. All his senses were amazingly alert and he confronted an often difficult and incoherent world with a spiritual equipoise and an impressive capacity for innocent joy. In compiling this fine body of work, his widow has performed a service to his memory, his audience, and to American literature."—David R. Slavitt
"Richard Elman's was an original and an impassioned voice—never silenced if now, alas, stilled. Best known as a writer of prose—both fiction and non-fiction—he had an enduring devotion to poetry as well. Always, he was working at it, always reading and reciting it; the work of words was, for Richard, a life-long game to play. It's a privilege and pleasure to hear him sing again."—Nicholas Delbanco
Richard Elman (1934-1997) was the author of numerous works of fiction, and non-fiction, and four poetry collections: The Man Who Ate New York (1975), Homage To Fats Navarro (1978), In Chontales (1980), and, from Junction Press, CATHEDRAL-TREE-TRAIN (1992). He was a producer for WBAI (Pacifica) and commentator for "All Things Considered." He taught at numerous universities and colleges, including Stony Brook, Bennington, Columbia, Sarah Lawrence, Notre Dame, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Arizona.
Author City: USA