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Tea

Overview

Tea is a series of poems about survival. "To survive is an astonishing gift," D. A. Powell writes. "The price of that gift is memory." Visually arresting, Tea is an experimental poem-cycle with traditional formal techniques built into its "wild" surface.

The first section consists of portraits of young men, friends or former lovers, who have contracted or have died of AIDS. Pushing into the margins of culture as well as of the page, Powell combines all manner of subject and tone...

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Overview

Tea is a series of poems about survival. "To survive is an astonishing gift," D. A. Powell writes. "The price of that gift is memory." Visually arresting, Tea is an experimental poem-cycle with traditional formal techniques built into its "wild" surface.

The first section consists of portraits of young men, friends or former lovers, who have contracted or have died of AIDS. Pushing into the margins of culture as well as of the page, Powell combines all manner of subject and tone to create a work part memory play, part episodic novel, part funny pages -- even part dance. Poems sing from the mouths of actor Sal Mineo, Batman's sidekick Robin, and the little girl from The Exorcist. A fugue for a disco singer, a letter to the poet's dog, an ode to the 1980s and a confession of love to a public toilet vibrate between the comic and the tragic. Like its central metaphor, Tea is gossipy, swirling, steamy, and sober.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A fine debut . . . Powell's discoed-out flippancy and attuned formalism are like the kiss of life to that age-old pair of sleeping beauties, sex and death . . . the poems record a fractured existence, full of foreboding desire and disappearance." --Publishers Weekly

"Powell has done something genuinely striking: he has invented a new prosodic instrument and played it almost flawlessly . . . This is a brash, gutsy, entertaining and moving first book. Keep it on the living room table."--Lambda Book Report

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819563347
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1998
  • Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 88
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.45 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

D. A. POWELL is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and recipient of a 1997 Paul Engle Fellowship from the James Michener Foundation. He lives in San Francisco. His newest collection is Lunch.
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Read an Excerpt

when I leave he is a discarded chrysalis. what I have become: [change]
I'll take you to paradise
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Table of Contents

Tea Leaves Tea Dance Spilling Tea Tea Rooms Reading Tea
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