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Essay
A Critical Memoir
Donald Revell




Omnidawn
2015 • 64 pp. 6 x 9"
Poetry Criticism / Poetry - American

$17.95 Paperback, 978-1-63243-001-4



“Revell is a writer of singular talent and ambition . . . he takes the reader to unfamiliar and strange places and, in the process, he creates some of the most beautiful poetry in our language.”—Harvard Review

A lyric examination of life and poetics from this esteemed writer and translator

Essay: A Critical Memoir is an experiment of the old school and of revived delight in the pleasures of close reading. What if all the poems are true? What if the allegories of a man or woman's life are in every way, and always, the actual shape of that life? To read is to find oneself again and again at the center of a pageant. To write is to call the pageant home. Essay is a memoir of Dante and Beatrice in New York circa 1968 and of an anti-war movement in something very much like Paradise.

Reviews / Endorsements

“...This book is an experiment in...the pleasures of the close reading of a text, an art largely lost or ignored. Taking Dante and Beatrice as his subjects, the poet chooses New York around 1968 as his setting, and an antiwar movement as his broad theme. The result is a lovely and lively reflection on war and peace, God and children, and how each human life is worthy of pageant or celebration. VERDICT Revell's thoughtful and insightful work pays homage to the poets who came before him while remaining contemporary.”—Library Journal

“With beguiling sumptuousness and sincerity, Revell argues that Art is progressing infinitesimally toward Paradise.”—Kelsey Burritt, First Things



DONALD REVELL is Professor of English and Graduate Studies Director at UNLV. Tantivy is his twelfth poetry collection. Donald Revell’s translations include The Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud, and A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud, both of which were published by Omnidawn. A Season in Hell won the PSA translation award. His books of essays include Invisible Green: Selected Prose, published by Omnidawn. He serves as poetry editor of Colorado Review. Revell lives in the desert south of Las Vegas with his wife, poet Claudia Keelan, and their children Benjamin Brecht and Lucie Ming.



Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:34:28 -0500