What Is Owed The Dead - R.H.W. Dillard

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What-Is-Owed-the-Dead-757x1030.jpg

What Is Owed The Dead - R.H.W. Dillard

14.00

Poetry
Perfect-bound. 53 pp, 5.5 x 7.5 in
ISBN 0-9840698-8-0
Publication date: 2011

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R.H.W. Dillard’s long-awaited seventh collection consists of a sequence of fifty-two poems, each sixteen lines long, each addressed to a dead poet or several times to more than one dead poet. Each is a meditation of sorts upon that poet’s work, secondarily that poet’s life, and ultimately, all together, upon the life of poems themselves in a continually violent and inherently unjust world. The syntax of these poems is shattered, interrupted by bits and pieces of other poems, memories, reflections, echoes, dates, journal entries, explosions, &c., &c, constituting in part a “demonstration” of how the mind actually deals with poems (and, for that matter, with the business of living). They are poems that, while obviously and purposefully belonging to the great tradition and continuum of poetry (what is owed the dead), are entirely unfamiliar and new. The full collection, for all the violence, depression, hurt, betrayal, anger, and suffering in it, is nevertheless a celebration of the resilience of poetry.

Born in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1937, Richard H. W. Dillard is the author of two novels, a collection of short fiction, two critical monographs, two verse translations of classical dramas, and six previous collections of poetry. He is a Professor of English at the Jackson Center for Creative Writing of Hollins University, where for thirty-two years he chaired the graduate and undergraduate creative writing programs.