Poetry, Reviews

Review: Mann, Breakfast with Thom Gunn

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For an excellent review of Randall Mann’s newest book of poems, Breakfast with Thom Gunn, check out Miguel Murphy’s piece in the current edition of Rain Taxi. Drawing from the work of it’s titular namesake, Mann’s new book grapples with dilemmas of the gay self embroiled in—and aroused by—a glittering, yet unforgiving, gay subculture that recalls the San Francisco Bay of the 1960’s Gunn knew so well. And judging by Murphy’s review, from its “metrical clarity” to its candid subject matter, Mann’s work is indeed the well deserving inheritor of Gunn’s poetic legacy.
Murphy writes for Rain Taxi:

This is the landscape of the beautiful—the transgressive, the godless, the gay—who, “tired / of the age of irony, everything / a gesture” must navigate the dangers of drugs, disease, and love…
Here, a generation post-Gunn, Mann exerts a similar difficult clarity about so-called “underworld” desires. He is not afraid to address the taboo with a frankness made palatable by strict metrical song.

Pick up a copy of Rain Taxi to read the full review or pick up a copy of Breakfast with Thom Gunn on the Press website.
Also see At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn—the first book-length study of Gunn’s work bringing together some of the most important poet-critics from both sides of the Atlantic to assess his oeuvre, edited by Joshua Weiner.