Keep this Forever

Overview

Poetry. In this, his fifth book of poems, written in the aftermath of his father's death, Mark Halliday proves to be one of America's most intimate poets. Like Frank O'Hara and Kenneth Koch, Halliday's poems chat with the reader in earnest yet humorous ways and in wholly believable voices. Whether exploring grief or desire or loneliness, these poems never forget the human longing for permanence. "He is prolix and quotidian, a Whitman in a supermarket, a confessional poet who does not take himself very ...

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Overview

Poetry. In this, his fifth book of poems, written in the aftermath of his father's death, Mark Halliday proves to be one of America's most intimate poets. Like Frank O'Hara and Kenneth Koch, Halliday's poems chat with the reader in earnest yet humorous ways and in wholly believable voices. Whether exploring grief or desire or loneliness, these poems never forget the human longing for permanence. "He is prolix and quotidian, a Whitman in a supermarket, a confessional poet who does not take himself very seriously.... His cool patter skewers pomposity..."—The New Yorker. Mark Halliday was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1949, and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina and then in Westport, Connecticut. He earned a B.A. at Brown University, an M.A. in creative writing at Brown, and a Ph.D. in English at Brandeis University. He has taught at Wellesley College, the University of Pennsylvania, Wilmington Friends School, Indiana University, Western Michigan University, and Ohio University.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Known for garrulously comic moments and dead-on versions of modern Americans' colloquial speech, Halliday (Jab) begins his fifth book of verse with purposely flat and intensely serious poems reacting to the death of his father, who lived "not without some gladness till he was eighty-nine,/ nourished as well as ravaged by irresistible wishing." That personal sadness inspires reflections on mortality more generally, at the start as at the end of this striking collection. In between, though, Halliday flaunts his gift for informal humor, poking fun at contemporary ephemera while finding the element of memento mori in each. "Google Me Soon," one poem invites: "You and I, we could have a connection." "I'm the little cup of overcooked beans," another poem decides, "somebody covered with plastic wrap and pushed to the back of/ the fridge." It can be hard to know when Halliday is kidding-but that difficulty is part of his point: in a world full of people whose stories we may never know, who may or may not have urgent messages for us, Halliday seeks a style sad enough to describe those missed connections, and surprising enough to let us have fun with them, too. (Sept.)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932195729
  • Publisher: Tupelo Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Pages: 86
  • Sales rank: 965,493
  • Product dimensions: 8.92 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Halliday was born in Ann Arbor, MI and grew up in Raleigh, NC and Westport, CT. He earned a BA at Brown University in 1971, an MA in creative writing at Brown, and a Ph.D. in English at Brandeis University. He has taught at Wellesley College, the University of Pennsylvania, Wilmington Friends School, Indiana University, Western Michigan University, and Ohio University, where he has been since 1996.

His previous books of poems are: Little Star (William Morrow, 1987, a National Poetry Series selection); Tasker Street (University of Massachusetts Press, 1992, a Juniper Prize winner); Selfwolf (University of Chicago Press, 1999); and Jab (University of Chicago Press, 2002). His critical study Stevens and the Interpersonal was published by Princeton University Press in 1991. He co-authored with Allen Grossman a book on poetics, The Sighted Singer (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), and he has published many essays on contemporary poets.

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Table of Contents

Walker 11

Chicken Salad 12

Skein 14

Last Touch 15

It Was Not Him 16

Milt and Sally 17

Clearing the Apartment 19

Walking the Ashes 21

Dreamhooked 23

Les Morts 25

A Night in 2029 28

Each Minute 29

Do It Deftly 30

No Strategy 31

Google Me Soon 34

Sternly Departing 35

Not Exactly Woody Guthrie 36

Special Heads 37

Confession to Mary 39

Shmedlo Talk 40

Vim 43

Muck-Clump 45

Warren 47

Doric Off to Atlanta 48

Tim Off to Charlotte 49

Bonnie 51

Plot Notes 53

Not That Great of an Evening 56

Olafur of Ljosavik 60

Three Flaws 61

Trip to Vermont (Abridged Version) 63

To You in 2052 65

Down Here 67

Another Point 70

Julie at the Reading 72

Cloud of Luck 74

Agonist 75

Enchanted Field 76

Ask Wendy Wisdom 77

South of Morgantown 79

Guidebook Embarrassment 80

Way Way Up There 83

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