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Review of 'Your Father on the Train of Ghosts' in Gently Read Literature


In Nick Courtright’s review of the BOA publication, Your Father on the Train of Ghosts written by G.C. Waldrep and John Gallaher, in “Gently Read Literature” Courtright stresses that the writers are a perfect match for each other.

He believes the writer can seek proof of Waldrep’s effortless execution or Gallaher’s effusive delightful tendencies, yet there is no need to attach a name to a single poem. Courtright states that the poets continually surprise the reader and the subversion of the narrative is insistently dream-like in its quality and unlike “narrative poems” are evasive and dodgy.

“The collection acts as a declaration that poetry isn’t a territory for certain themes alone, but a territory where everyone and everything is welcome. Indeed, you get the feeling that if Gallaher and Waldrep found themselves at a wedding reception, no element of it would be deemed unpoetic the fake flower arrangements, the amalgamation of unrelated personalities, the clambering at the temporary open bar, all of these things (including the hammered speech of the best man and the doddering of someone’s doddering father-in-law) would be fair game. And it’s that vision, that biasless opening of experience and possibility, that makes this book a victoryeverything is fair, everything is beautiful, everything a poem can do can be done, together.”

G.C. Waldrep collections of poetry include Disclamor (2007) and Archicembalo (2009), winner of the Dorset Prize. A 2007 National Endownment for the Arts fellow in Literature, Waldrep has also received a 2008 Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative American Poetry.

John Gallaher is, together with G.C. Waldrep, the author of Your Father on the Train of Ghosts, which was written in collaboration almost completely through email. Gallaher’s previous collections of poetry include The Little Book of Guesses (2007), winner of the Levis Poetry Prize, and Map of the Folded World (2009).

Click link to read Nick Courtright's review and others in "Gently Read Literature" here.

Purchase Your Father on the Train of Ghosts here.

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