Book of Fears by Lewis Turco, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Book of Fears

Book of Fears

by Lewis Turco
     
 

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Poetry. Lewis Turco is one of the most original and diversely talented Italian American poets. What a pleasure to read him in two languages at once -- his own zesty English and an Italian translation (Dana Gioia). A BOOK OF FEARS is literally that: each poem is named after a fear. For example Eratophobia The Fear of Poetry: Dear Cousin, she wrote, Thanks /

Overview


Poetry. Lewis Turco is one of the most original and diversely talented Italian American poets. What a pleasure to read him in two languages at once -- his own zesty English and an Italian translation (Dana Gioia). A BOOK OF FEARS is literally that: each poem is named after a fear. For example Eratophobia The Fear of Poetry: Dear Cousin, she wrote, Thanks / for the book of poems. I must admit / that I haven't opened them. It's a source / of pride to me to have a poet in the family, / but I'm afraid I won't understand // the poems and I'll feel stupid. Founder of the Poetry Center of Cleveland in 1962 at what is now Cleveland State University, Lewis Turco also founded the Program in Writing Arts at S.U.N.Y. Oswego in 1968, directing it for the next 27 years. His last book, SHAKING THE FAMILY TREE, A REMEBRANCE is also out of Bordighera and is avaialble from SPD. Translated into Italian by Joseph Alessia, a poet and teacher who is currently professor of Italian and Spanish, also at S.U.N.Y. Oswego.

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Kirkus Reviews
This much-published, if underappreciated poet, a retired teacher (SUNY/Oswego), and author of some key works in prosody, is the winner of this small press's first annual award, which also includes a translation en face into Italian by language professor, Joseph Alessia. Turco's 28 more or less uniform poems profile an anonymous gallery of phobics who suffer neuroses both ordinary and odd. In his transparent, carefully crafted verse, Turco offers his neat pathologies, from trigger responses to avoidance technique to physical dread, but he never resorts to the shorthand of therapeutic language. More diagnostician than analyst, he clinically details the simple fears of things: poems on aelurophobia (cats), arachnophobia (spiders), and amathophobia (dust). But the majority of his neurotics fear states of mind and abstractions: a man afraid of silence ("Quiescophobia") fills the emptiness with the sound of his quickening pulse; another dreading his jealous inclinations ("Zelophobia") favors "an armless Venus, helpless as/her marble passion"; and a woman avoids sleep for fear of dreaming ("Oneirophobia") about "the naked dance" of "creatures of the night." A number of Turco's pathological case studies disguise their greater worry-a loss of self-with their hatred of mirrors ("Catoptrophobia") or the concept of infinity ("Apeirophobia"). Turco easily transcends the gimmicky premise with a collection that truly resonates in these psychologically troubled times. .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781884419201
Publisher:
Bordighera Press
Publication date:
07/01/1999
Series:
Poetry Prize Series
Pages:
57
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author


Lewis Putnam Turco is the author of some fifty volumes in the genres of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction including books, chapbooks and monographs. Founder of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center in 1962 and of the creative writing program at the State University of New York College at Oswego in 1968, Turco's first book of criticism, Visions and Revisions of American Poetry, won the Melville Cane Award of the Poetry Society of America in 1986, and his A Book of Fears: Poems, with Italian translations by Joseph Alessia, won the first annual Bordighera BiLingual Poetry Prize in 1998. In 1999 he received the John Ciardi Award for lifetime achievement in poetry sponsored by the periodical Italian Americana and the National Italian American Foundation. Turco's many books include LA FAMIGLIA: THE FAMILY, A BOOK OF FEARS: UN LIBRO DI FOBIE, and SHAKING THE FAMILY TREE: A REMEMBRANCE.

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