PERSISTENT VOICES is a collection of poems written by poets who represent one tragic gap in our world dueling with the spectre of AIDS. These are the words to each other, to fellow travelers in that heinous disease, to those bonded brothers left behind, and to all of us. These poets are not only some of the finest in the 20th Century, they are also heroes in their own right, heroic enough to leave behind whispers of the passage that during the time of their writing seemed without hope for reversal. In a very fine Foreword by Kim Addonizio the idea of this collection is stated: ' Poetry is a record of consciousness, bearing witness to life fully lived, and as such it can transcend even death. Poems bring us the spirits of those who wrote them. Those spirits are variously amused, grieving, angry, longing, observing, questioning. They are here, in these pages, available to us'.
Some anthologies dedicated to a specific subject can grown tiresome as the book is read. Not here. These are great poems by great poets, each of whom stands alone as a prime example of the quality of rich poetry that has been born in these times. Yet for all their craftsmanship and quality of writing the end result is a heartbreaking one: every one on these brilliant artists succumbed to that plague that bruised the world and remains to continue its damage. These are poems of great beauty, but these are poems that will also resonate like a harsh tattoo on the hearts and minds of all of us who have lost loved ones to AIDS. Grady Harp, August 10
Groff, David (editor) and Philip Clark. "Persistent Voices: Poetry by Writers Lost to AIDS", Alyson, 2010. Their Voices Live On Amos Lassen So many of us have lost someone to AIDS and now that the disease has moved away from us, we do not want to forget what is was like when we had such beautiful people among us. There were poets--Reinaldo Arenas, Paul Monette, Joe Brainard, James Merrill, Tory Dent, to name a few who wrote about … more
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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From Reinaldo Arenas, Tory Dent, and James Merrill to Paul Monette, Essex Hemphill, and Joe Brainard, Persistent Voices memorializes these poets and many others by presenting their work—often dealing with AIDS but also written on other enduring topics—in the context of an unending epidemic that has profoundly affected our literature.
David Groff is a poet, editor, and teacher in New York City. Philip Clark is a writer and teacher from the Washington, DC, area.