What About This
Collected Poems of Frank Stanford
By (author) Frank Stanford, Introduction by Dean Young
Â“The big event in poetry for 2015 will likely be the long-awaited resurrection of Frank Stanford.""Â”NPR.org National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist Â“What About ThisÂ… introduces to a broader audience an important and original American poet Â” sensitive, death-haunted, surreal, carnal, dirt-flecked and deeply Southern Â” whose promise, only partly fulfilled, it hurts to contemplate. His poems flick on a heretofore unnoticed porch light in your mind.â€Â”Dwight Garner, The New York Times * â€Stanford fearlessly explored the terror and wonder of the mind and the physical world.â€Â”Publishers Weekly, starred review * ""Highly recommended work from an American original.""Â”Library Journal, starred review Â“What About This marks a rare moment, when a critical and completely original American voice is recovered after decades and takes its rightful place in the canonÂ…Now that the work is finally available, the real risk is that Stanfordâ€™s poetic legacy will play second fiddle to the myth of his life and death. The beautiful young suicide is a hard narrative to shakeÂ….What About This offers the fullness of both the work and the image, and leaves it to readers to decide what they will value most.â€Â”Jay Deshpande, The New Republic ""This vibrant volume forms a comprehensive selection from his huge output, and includes published and unpublished poetry and prose, archival photographs, original manuscripts, a rejection letter, an interview, and excerpts from the 'ungovernable' fifteen-thousand-line epic poem, 'The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You'...Stanfordâ€™s poems are by turns earthly and visionary.""Â”The New Yorker Â“The big event in poetry for 2015 will likely be the long-awaited resurrection of Frank Stanford, a legendary badass from Arkansas, much of whose poetry has been unavailable since his suicide at the age of 29 in 1978Â… Stanford was a hell of a metaphor-maker and simile-slinger, and could cast a spell of extreme intensity with a flick of his wrist.â€Â”NPR.org ""The book [What About This], layered with north Delta dialect and superstition, departs again and again on dream-like thought sequences in which unpredictable imagery continually startles the imagination and overwhelms it with visceral beauty.""Â”Matthew Henricksen, Arkansas Times Â“Frank Stanford's What About This is a monumental achievement. So much of Stanford's work was unpublished, scattered about in limited-edition, hard-to-find volumes, but now it has been collected and readers will rejoice to discover (or rediscover) a distinct poetic voiceÂ…. He was a voracious reader and was heavily influenced by Thomas Merton and French writers. He loved the Surrealists and Rimbaud, Mallarme, Follain and the French filmmakers Cocteau and BuÃ±uel. His poetry is wildly imagistic, imbued with Southern folklore and culture, and it'sÂ”to use Stanford's own wordÂ”Â‘strange.â€™""Â”Tom Lavoie, Shelf Awareness ""Stanford was a teenage prodigy out of Arkansas bleeding beautiful streams of Faulkner-like fever dream that has survived mostly in out-of-print chapbooks passed hand-to-hand. Now a monster compilation, 'What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford,' has assembled more than 700 pages of poetry and a little prose like a moon-spattered Bible.""Â”Dean Kuipers, Los Angeles Times ""The work of poet Frank Stanford, whose turbulent life ended in suicide, is experiencing a well-deserved renaissance.""Â”Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times ""I don't believe in tame poetry. . . . Poetry busts guts.""Â”Frank Stanford As Dean Young writes in the Foreword to the book: ""Many of these poems seem as if they were written with a burnt stick. With blood in river mud... Frank Stanford, demonically prolific, approaches the poem not as an exercise of rhetoric or a puzzle of signifiers but as a man 'looking for his own tongue' in a knife-fight with a ghost.""