Letters to a Stranger: Poems

Front Cover
Graywolf Press, Jun 24, 2008 - Poetry - 88 pages
9 Reviews
The searing collection, a cult favorite for decades, by the late Thomas James
 I will last forever. I am not impatient—
My skin will wait to greet its old complexions.
I’ll lie here till the world swims back again.
                —from “Mummy of a Lady Named Jemutesonekh”
 Thomas James’s Letters to a Stranger—originally published in 1973, shortly before James’s suicide—has become one of the underground classics of contemporary poetry. In this new edition, with an introduction by Lucie Brock-Broido and four of James’s poems never before published in book form, this fraught and moving masterpiece is at last available.
 Letters to a Stranger is a new book in the Graywolf Poetry Re/View Series, edited by Mark Doty, dedicated to bringing essential books of contemporary American poetry back into print.

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Review: Letters to a Stranger: Poems

User Review  - Scott Wiggerman - Goodreads

Amazing collection--James' only--that brings to mind Plath and Sexton at their best. Yes, there's a tragic quality to the poems, but it doesn't interfere with their superb use of metaphor and imagery, which can actually be rather comic. This poet deserves a wider audience! Read full review

Review: Letters to a Stranger: Poems

User Review  - Joe Sullivan - Goodreads

This collection has haunted me since I've finished it. I've had dreams from the perspective of the narrator of a couple of the poems. It's probably not for everyone, since it deals quite a bit with death, decay and the end of things. But the language is very affecting. Read full review

Contents

Introduction by Lucie BrockBroido
ix
Carnations
8
Wooden Horse
25
The Stableboy
38
III
47
Wine
53
The Chestnut Branch
59
Going Back
65
Magdalene in the Garden
71
Love Song
77
Letters to a Stranger
83
Copyright

About the author (2008)

Thomas James (1946–74) was from Joliet, Illinois. Letters to a Stranger, which won the Theodore Roethke Prize from Poetry Northwest in 1969, was his only book of poetry.

Bibliographic information