All My People Are Elegies: Essays, Prose Poems and Other Epistolary Oddities (häftad)
Häftad (Paperback / softback)
Antal sidor
NYQ Books
Black & white illustrations
Antal komponenter
402:B&W 6 x 9 in or 229 x 152 mm Perfect Bound on Creme w/Matte Lam
All My People Are Elegies: Essays, Prose Poems and Other Epistolary Oddities (häftad)

All My People Are Elegies: Essays, Prose Poems and Other Epistolary Oddities

Häftad Engelska, 2019-10-21
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In the spirit of Michael Martone's "contributor note" essays, Sean Thomas Dougherty has created a book of responses written to his rejection letters. After a furious series of rejections from dozens of literary magazines, Dougherty had enough. He decided to fight back. Sean improvised in real time a series of epistolary public responses on Facebook over a six-month period that began Dear Editor. The edited result is All My People Are Elegies. But this book is less about the literary arts than it is about Dougherty's life, his family, friends, and the world of people struggling to live in the working-class cities and towns along Lake Erie. This book writes back against the world that says shut up, you are less than, you do not matter, you are poor, you are different. You are damaged. Dougherty offers stories of working-class bars, streets, neighborhoods, insights into his work as a medical technician and caregiver for the brain-injured, and essays that touch on disability rights, his years working in a pool hall, and his autistic daughter. This book is full of people real, and some imagined. He offers us a poignant ode to a coworker taken by gun violence, and unflinching lyrical responses to the illness and alcoholism that has scarred his own family. Dougherty writes, "Too often in American culture we are taught to accept rejection without retort. Like it?s rude or presumptuous to speak back. What does it mean to be rejected? These pieces hope to connect across our shared failures. Editing is a tough job. We are all in some ways both submitters and gatekeepers as artists, even if only inside ourselves. In the end we are all failures. We are all witnesses for each other."
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sean thomas dougherty's All My People are Elegies is inventive, wry, and occasionally wicked. Dougherty's epistolary oddities skewer editorial artifice and misdirected literary ambition with unexpected grit, humor, and humanity, reminding us what really matters in a world where people raise children, play pool, work night shifts, get sick, and ultimately die. If only submitting our work to magazines could be this much fun, or this heart-wrenching.

—dinty w. moore, author of between panic & desire


in this series of wise and wise-ass psalms, sean thomas dougherty refuses to play the game of quiet acquiescence. instead, he sings of closed factories and walmart shoppers, of shift work and daytime drinking and the bitter winds of lake erie. the unabashed exuberance with which dougherty launches his full-throated melodies demands a reckoning of our ideas about failure, and exposes the recurring gulf between the literary establishment and sources of truth and beauty. dougherty's defiance provides a much-needed balm in the face and weight of our accumulated rejections—but in the end, it's the ferocity of his tenderness that will slay you.

—sonja livingston, author of ghostbread

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Övrig information

Sean Thomas Dougherty is the author or editor of 18 books including Not All Saints, winner of the 2019 Bitter Oleander Library of Poetry Prize; Alongside We Travel: Contemporary Poets on Autism (NYQ Books 2019) and All You Ask for is Longing: New and Selected Poems (BOA Editions 2014). His book The Second O of Sorrow (BOA Editions 2018) received both the Paterson Poetry Prize, and the Housatonic Book Award from Western Connecticut State University. His awards include the Twin Cities College Association Poet in Residence; a US Fulbright Lectureship to the Balkans; two Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowships in Poetry; and an appearance in Best American Poetry. He has worked in a newspaper plant, as an untenured college lecturer, and in a pool hall. He now works as a care giver and Med Tech for various disabled populations and lives with the poet Lisa M. Dougherty and their two daughters in Erie, Pennsylvania.