Broken Hallelujahs

Overview

Fusing street scenes (from Budapest to New York City) with family history (African American and Jewish), Sean Thomas Dougherty uses both traditional and experimental forms to explore issues of identity and family. Deeply rooted in music and performance, Dougherty’s poetry resists easy categorization, revealing the complexity of our lives and times.

Sean Thomas Dougherty lives in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he teaches in the BFA program for creative writing at Penn State Erie. He ...

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Overview

Fusing street scenes (from Budapest to New York City) with family history (African American and Jewish), Sean Thomas Dougherty uses both traditional and experimental forms to explore issues of identity and family. Deeply rooted in music and performance, Dougherty’s poetry resists easy categorization, revealing the complexity of our lives and times.

Sean Thomas Dougherty lives in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he teaches in the BFA program for creative writing at Penn State Erie. He is a nationally renowned performance poet and author of nine previous poetry collections. He was a finalist for the 2005 Paterson Poetry Prize and winner of the 2000 Pinyon Press Poetry Prize.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Dougherty, a touring performance poet with solid academic credentials, synthesizes varied traditions and aesthetics in this energetic collection of poems and prose pieces. Adept at both urban rhythms and traditional meters, he can eulogize a jazz giant in measured heroic couplets ("Thelonius Monk's small hat, perched like a parrot/ contrapunting the keys, his chords deep as if a garret/ caught a note") as easily as improvise a call out to Walt Whitman ("Behold the paper butterfly and the iridescent puff as the old man stands up, wipes off his baggy pants"). Fond of creating nonce forms-the "collapsed" canzone, the oberek (based on the three-beat polka)-Dougherty aspires to design "choreographies of chance" that set words, and the worlds they encompass, in motion. Part surrealist, part hip-hop poet, part Romantic, he draws on personal memory, family history, European travel, and the phantasmagoric elements of everyday life ("boys in baseball caps with their radio/ Transforming the block into yellow, green, red, breaking/ the syntax of the sidewalk") to create a lively, sometimes graceful, and often insightful field guide to our multifaceted American Zeitgeist. Recommended for most poetry collections.
—Fred Muratori

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781929918928
  • Publisher: BOA Editions, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2007
  • Series: American Poets Continuum Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author


Sean Thomas Dougherty is author of nine books including Nightshift Belonging to Lorca, a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and Except by Falling, winner of the 2000 Pinyon Press Poetry Prize from Mesa State College. He holds an MFA in poetry from Syracuse University and teaches in the BFA Program for Creative Writing at Penn State Erie.
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