Beautiful Shirt

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Wesleyan University Press, Mar 1, 2011 - Poetry - 67 pages
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The world that Donald Revell ponders in these poems replete with contrarieties. The same verbal playfulness and prophetic lyricism that made Revell a 1992 Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry and a winner of National Poetry Series, Pushcart, and PEN Center USA West awards are in full force in Beautiful Shirt. Here he traverses the rocky terrain of innocence, memory, disillusion, and salvation in a voice at once haunted and elliptical: “This is the world as I have known it./ It has a soft outline and is easily victimized.”

Juxtaposed within a trio of long, introspective poems are shorter lyrics that push the limits of poetic syntaxes and dictions. In all, Beautiful Shirt searches for the true nature of the self through language unfettered by narrative constraints and conventional conceptual identities.

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Beautiful shirt

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Revell has found an open form for his writing. Like Ashbery's (but in a far less conversational style), the poems in his fifth book seem to unfold of their own volition, offering a scrolling of banal ... Read full review



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About the author (2011)

DONALD REVELL was a National Poetry Series Winner in 1982 for his first book of poems, From Abandoned Cities (1983). In 1985 he won a Pushcart Prize. His collection New Dark Ages (Wesleyan 1990) won the PEN Center USA West Award for Poetry. His other honors include a Shestack Prize from American Poetry Review and fellowships from Ingram Merrill Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has also published the Gaza of Winters (1988) and Erasures (Wesleyan 1992).His work has been selected for three editions of Best American Poetry. Until recently he was editor of the Denver Quarterly. He is currently Professor of English at the University of Utah.

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