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What about This : Collected Poems of Frank Stanford
by Frank Stanford and Michael Wiegers


Overview -

"The big event in poetry for 2015 will likely be the long-awaited resurrection of Frank Stanford."--NPR.org

National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

" What About This ... introduces to a broader audience an important and original American poet -- sensitive, death-haunted, surreal, carnal, dirt-flecked and deeply Southern -- whose promise, only partly fulfilled, it hurts to contemplate.  Read more...


 
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More About What about This by Frank Stanford; Michael Wiegers
 
 
 
Overview

"The big event in poetry for 2015 will likely be the long-awaited resurrection of Frank Stanford."--NPR.org

National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

"What About This... introduces to a broader audience an important and original American poet -- sensitive, death-haunted, surreal, carnal, dirt-flecked and deeply Southern -- whose promise, only partly fulfilled, it hurts to contemplate. His poems flick on a heretofore unnoticed porch light in your mind."--Dwight Garner, The New York Times

* "Stanford fearlessly explored the terror and wonder of the mind and the physical world."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "Highly recommended work from an American original."--Library Journal, starred review

"What About This marks a rare moment, when a critical and completely original American voice is recovered after decades and takes its rightful place in the canon...Now that the work is finally available, the real risk is that Stanford's poetic legacy will play second fiddle to the myth of his life and death. The beautiful young suicide is a hard narrative to shake....What About This offers the fullness of both the work and the image, and leaves it to readers to decide what they will value most."--Jay Deshpande, The New Republic

"This vibrant volume forms a comprehensive selection from his huge output, and includes published and unpublished poetry and prose, archival photographs, original manuscripts, a rejection letter, an interview, and excerpts from the 'ungovernable' fifteen-thousand-line epic poem, 'The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You'...Stanford's poems are by turns earthly and visionary."--The New Yorker

"The big event in poetry for 2015 will likely be the long-awaited resurrection of Frank Stanford, a legendary badass from Arkansas, much of whose poetry has been unavailable since his suicide at the age of 29 in 1978... Stanford was a hell of a metaphor-maker and simile-slinger, and could cast a spell of extreme intensity with a flick of his wrist."--NPR.org

"The book What About This], layered with north Delta dialect and superstition, departs again and again on dream-like thought sequences in which unpredictable imagery continually startles the imagination and overwhelms it with visceral beauty."--Matthew Henricksen, Arkansas Times

"Frank Stanford's What About This is a monumental achievement. So much of Stanford's work was unpublished, scattered about in limited-edition, hard-to-find volumes, but now it has been collected and readers will rejoice to discover (or rediscover) a distinct poetic voice.... He was a voracious reader and was heavily influenced by Thomas Merton and French writers. He loved the Surrealists and Rimbaud, Mallarme, Follain and the French filmmakers Cocteau and Bunuel. His poetry is wildly imagistic, imbued with Southern folklore and culture, and it's--to use Stanford's own word--'strange.'"--Tom Lavoie, Shelf Awareness

"Stanford was a teenage prodigy out of Arkansas bleeding beautiful streams of Faulkner-like fever dream that has survived mostly in out-of-print chapbooks passed hand-to-hand. Now a monster compilation, 'What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford, ' has assembled more than 700 pages of poetry and a little prose like a moon-spattered Bible."--Dean Kuipers, Los Angeles Times

"The work of poet Frank Stanford, whose turbulent life ended in suicide, is experiencing a well-deserved renaissance."--Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times

"I don't believe in tame poetry. . . . Poetry busts guts."--Frank Stanford

As Dean Young writes in the Foreword to the book: "Many of these poems seem as if they were written with a burnt stick. With blood in river mud... Frank Stanford, demonically prolific, approaches the poem not as an exercise of rhetoric or a puzzle of signifiers but as a man 'looking for his own tongue' in a knife-fight with a ghost."



 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781556594687
  • ISBN-10: 1556594682
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
  • Publish Date: April 2015
  • Page Count: 764
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Poetry > American - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-03-16
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this comprehensive and essential retrospective, the body of work left behind by Stanford—who took his own life in 1978, at age 29—more than makes good on his insistence that “poetry busts guts.” The volume presents a vital and distinctly American surrealist impulse, as Stanford, whose legacy is somewhat obscured by his extensive self-mythologizing, fearlessly explored the terror and wonder of the mind and the physical world. Published and unpublished poems coexist alongside excerpts from his 15,000-line epic, “Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You,” as well as selected bits of energetic prose and other ephemera. In the course of reading, one witnesses the prismatic and visionary effects of his imagination on a richly figured world of Southern objects—knives, rivers, boats, cypress trees—where the moon can be everything from “a dead man floating down the river” to “dead fish” to the “blind eye of a fish/ in the back of a cave.” What he sings here is a “song that comes apart/ Like a rosary/ In the back of a church”—an unlikely triumph of imagination over pain and death. Stanford demanded of poetry that it “mean and sing,” and this is the definitive document of his uncanny ability to do just that. (Apr.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews