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What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford
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""I don't believe in tame poetry. Poetry busts guts."--Frank Stanford. The poetry publishing event of the season, this six-hundred-plus page book highlights the arc of Frank Stanford's all-too-brief and incandescently brilliant career. Despite critical praise and near-mythic status as a poet, Frank Stanford's oeuvre has never fully been unified. The mystery and legend surrounding his life-and his suicide before the age of thirty-has made it nearly impossible to fully and accurately celebrate his body of work. Until now. This welcome and necessary volume includes hundreds of previously unpublished poems, a short story, an interview, and is richly illustrated with draft poems, photographs, and odd ephemera. 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." When It's After DarkI steal all the light bulbs and hide them like eggs in a basket going to some outlaw I put on the best I can find I cover them with a swatch of something that swells like a bite that bleeds green cloth that smells of a feed store but looks to of been worn I go over to nasty willy's bridge and throw them into the creek there in the shade I listen for them to make nests to escape agony and burst. Frank Stanford was born in Mississippi and worked as an unlicensed land surveyor. He published poetry, short fiction, and the epic 15,000-line poem The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You. In June 1978, he died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds."--
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