For more than 20 years, Sean Thomas Dougherty has negotiated between modernist and avant-garde writing and more populist traditions that extend back to Walt Whitman. His subject matter ranges from basketball to Björk, from blue collar workers to Biggie Smalls, from Luciano Pavarotti to women waiting at a diner outside a prison in Upstate New York. Selecting from the best of eight previous collections, this New and Selected reveals the powerful arc and development of Dougherty’s writing and establishes him as a voice of dissent for the future.
PRAISE FOR SEAN THOMAS DOUGHERTY
"[Dougherty] wears his heart on both sleeves—he is not for everyone: but readers in search of socially conscious vigor, of street energy and “something to hold onto,” may find that Dougherty is just what they need."
“Dougerty has been a staple of the underground poetry scene for nearly 30 years. He’s come up the hard way—no overnight successes, no long-term university positions—and his poetry is as honest and ALIVE as any you’ll read. When people talk about the poetry scene going soft or the scourge of 'workshopped poems' or, God forbid, the death of poetry—it’s because they haven’t read Dougherty’s work. This New and Selected volume covers his full career-to-date and should wake us all up to the underground sound that’s throbbing like a bass drum in the heart of contemporary poetry. Poetry ain’t dead. It’s working in a pool hall in Erie, Pennsylvania.”
“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.”
“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.”
“...Dougherty is the Miles Davis of the sentence.”
"The poems of Sean Thomas Dougherty are full of intelligence and energy, myth and music, moving in surreal, jagged streams. There is a remarkable range of references here, from Edith Piaf to Biggie Smalls, from Jackson Pollock to Killer Kowalski. Above all, however, there is empathy, that essential element of poetry and humanity, for a dying grandfather, for the insomniacs of the city, for all the forgotten histories the poet cannot forget. To him I say: Keep singing."
© BOA Editions, Ltd. 2014