Poetry. LGBTQIA Studies. Thomas March's debut collection, AFTERMATH (The Word Works, 2018), the author turns over a lifetime of queer desire never quite requited enough. In these poems, aesthetic payoffs arrive through technical precision, but desire, death, jealousy and grief stay as messy and unresolvable here as they are in life.
According to judge Joan Larkin, the poems explore "queer identity, troubled masculinity, and those unsettling truths that illuminate and disorient consciousness."
Startling aphorisms, like grief as "a cold bath / only your own / body warms," lie alongside generous sentences stretched taut over March's metrical frames. Even the most material of experiences, the weight of a drunk's dead body in his pallbearers' arms, glints with the clarity poetry can give it. March is never sentimental, but his personae understand desire for the sometimes petty, sometimes expansive experience that it is, and he gives us a collection that feels at once generous and sophisticated, full of poems wild with wanting, yet precisely controlled in their delivery. AFTERMATH is the introduction of a brave and essential new voice in American poetry. Says Rigoberto González, "Hindsight opens the door to insight in Thomas March's AFTERMATH, an emotionally intelligent book that invites us to mine the rubble of 'this world / that always wants repair.' The natural rhythms of iambic pentameter pace the heartbeat of this journey toward queer identity, troubled masculinity, and those unsettling truths that illuminate and disorient consciousness, like 'dark stars against the warm, awaiting light.' A superb debut."
About the Author
Thomas March is a poet, teacher and critic based in New York City. His poetry has appeared in many journals, including Bellevue Literary Review, The Good Men Project, Pleiades, and Public Pool. His reviews and essays have appeared in The Believer, The Huffington Post, and New Letters. Appearing regularly in Lambda Literary Review, his poetry column, "Appreciations," offers close readings of poems from recent collections by LGBTQ poets. Recipient of the Norma Millay Ellis Fellowship in Poetry from the Millay Colony for the Arts, he has also received an Artist/Writer grant from The Vermont Studio Center.