In the spring of 2007 after a series of traumas including a shooting assault that nearly killed his son, Sean Thomas Dougherty left his teaching job and retreated into a small two room flat on the East Side of Erie, PA. For the next two years Dougherty “listened to my neighbors, helped my friend with a heroin habit, fathered a daughter with her, and watched helplessly as another friend went crazy. More than anything I listened. I listened to my walls. I listened to the silence. I listened to my neighbor Sasha, and I wrote as she hung her laundry on the line.” Out of his working class neighborhood, and his travels later sponsored by the US State Department in the Balkans, Dougherty takes us inside language itself: in narratives, monologues, invented forms, lists and prose poem collages, he sings for us his street-driven tough-hearted human arias.
“These soul-infused, deftly crafted stanzas pulse with the rhythms of a poet who lives his life out loud. Sean Thomas Dougherty has always shunned convention in favor of his fresher landscapes—and this book will be the one that stamps his defiant signature on the canon.”
“Sean Thomas Dougherty's poems vibrate with ‘red and blue braids of light’, in a voice that resonates and transports. Arresting, precise imagery from a poet of grand and memorable vision, this is the gypsy punk heart of American poetry.”