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High praise for Sean Thomas Dougherty from the Utah Review

Dougherty_Photo by John Henry Doucette In anticipation of his upcoming performance(s) at the Utah Arts Festival this weekend, Sean Thomas Dougherty has been featured extensively in multiple pieces by the Utah Review. "When reading Sean Thomas Dougherty’s work," says UR writer Les Roka, "one often realizes how easily a ‘Dougherty moment’ can pop up — that fleeting moment of a familiar connection, an unexpected yet relevant epiphany about a relationship, event, struggle, love, or pain. A prodigious poet with a vast complex of influences cultivated through an exceptionally voracious appetite for reading, experiences, music and ever-alert observation, he offers up a language rendered, as he explains, in 'three dimensions in which we say a word that becomes a form in the air that then is anchored in the space of an exchange between bodies.' There is unflinching realism in his work that the astute reader soon realizes that his poetry and his humanitarianism are among the most worthy American literary descendants of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, whom Dougherty refers to as the father and mother of American poetry." One of the features, "Backstage at The Utah Arts Festival 2015: The glorious spirit of the American streets in Sean Thomas Dougherty’s poetry," goes into extensive detail about Dougherty's poetry career, his performance style, and his complex poetry muse. Roka calls Dougherty a "prolific poet whose books have garnered numerous awards and a solidly broad stream of critical praise. With more than a dozen books to his credit including All I Ask for Is Longing: New and Selected Poems 1994-2014 (BOA Editions) ... Dougherty also is well-known for his energetic performances which are inspired by the strong rhythmic elements in his work, which often seeks out the common rhythmic ground from among seemingly disparate sources representing different cultures and social geographic foundations." Having just won a Lifetime Poetry Achievement Award from the literary organization Poet's Hall, Dougherty will be performing at this year’s Utah Arts Festival, giving two readings of his work on the Big Mouth Stage (June 27, 6:30 p.m.; June 28, 7 p.m.) and will lead a writing workshop (June 27, 4:30 p.m.). Click here to read "Backstage at The Utah Arts Festival 2015: The glorious spirit of the American streets in Sean Thomas Dougherty’s poetry." Click here to read "Backstage at The Utah Arts Festival 2015: Literary Arts captures kinetic potential of 21st century creative landscape." Dougherty's most recent collection All You Ask for Is Longing is available at the BOA Bookstore.

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