“Outside the Lines: Talking with Contemporary Gay Poets” by Christopher Hennessy— Speaking with Poets

Hennessy, Christopher. “Outside the Lines: Talking with Contemporary Gay Poets”, University of Michigan Press, 2005.

Speaking with Poets

Amos Lassen

In the last year, gay poets have published a lot of new writing and I have I have become very interested in reading the fruits of their labors. However, I have only gotten to know them by what they have written. I came across this book by Christopher Hennessy I which he speaks with poets themselves. He asks the kind of questions that probe the mind and the results are fascinating. The poets tell us how they are excited by poetry and they build their own worlds through their own words. This is about creating art and it pulls you in immediately. We quickly see the impact the poets have made—not just on gay poetry but on the contemporary literary scene.

Included are Frank Bidart, Thom Gunn, J.D.McClatchey, Mark Doty, Carl Phillips, Henri Carl, Doug Powell, Tim Liu Reginald Shepherd, Raphael Campo, Alfred Corn, Donald Tunidad and Hennessey looks at each poet’s work up to the publication of this book and we get a look at the man and the poetry. There is also a bibliography and a list of those poets that are emerging onto the scene. This is a totally interesting book that explains a great deal and lets us into the lives o the poets. Of course, today there is a whole new group—Ahron Taub, Chip Livingstone, Robert Walker, Christopher Soden, Michael Montlack, Jeff Mann, Jeremy Halinen and others. Maybe it is time for a second volume.

One thought on ““Outside the Lines: Talking with Contemporary Gay Poets” by Christopher Hennessy— Speaking with Poets

  1. Chuck Willman

    Thanks for this! Didn’t know about the book. And I agree with you that a second volume is ‘in order.’

    Reply

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