Press Release: Weiner, At the Barriers

July 14, 2009
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Maverick gay icon of poetry Thom Gunn (1929—2004) and his body of work have long dared the British and American poetry establishments to either claim or disavow him. To critics in the UK and United States alike, Gunn demonstrated that formal poetry could successfully include new speech rhythms and open forms. Along the way, Gunn’s verse captured the social upheavals of the 1960s, the existential possibilities of the late twentieth century, and the tumult of post-Stonewall gay culture.
The first book-length collection of essays on this major poet, At the Barriers surveys Gunn’s career from his youth in 1930s Britain to his final years in California, bringing together some of the most important poet-critics from both sides of the Atlantic to assess his oeuvre. This landmark volume traces how Gunn, in both his life and his writings, pushed at boundaries of different kinds, be they geographic, sexual, or poetic—and how his influence has only grown since his death.
Read the press release.

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