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In Going On, New & Complete Poems, a much expanded sequel to The Weathering, winner of the Connecticut Book Award, McQuilkin offers over two hundred new poems, many written during the past six years, as well as the addition and revision of earlier work. The book reflects the exuberant, sensuous, often witty way he does battle with the powers of destruction, denial, and death, finding ways of prevailing despite and even because of them.
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Rennie McQuilkin's poetry has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, The American Scholar, The Southern Review, The Yale Review, The Hudson Review, Crazyhorse, and many other publications. He is the author of eleven earlier poetry collections, three of which have won national awards, and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as the State of Connecticut. For many years he directed the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival at Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT, and subsequently founded Antrim House, which has published over 150 books, mainly collections of poetry. In 2003 he received the Connecticut Center for the Book's Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2010 the Center, operating under the aegis of the Library of Congress, presented him with the Connecticut Book Award for The Weathering. He and his wife, the artist Sarah McQuilkin, live in Simsbury, CT.Review:
Speaking of McQuilkin's earlier book, of which this is an expansion, Eamon Grennan has said, "Rennie McQuilkin offers poems of a grainy, poised, exacting honesty. There's sort of Shaker furniture feel to their mix of plainness and grace. Grounded and unabashedly local as they are, these poems can yet be at home in the sky and in touch with everywhere, offering a deep reading of a truly examined life. McQuilkin balances with elegance the practical, erotic, and mindful zones of his experience, infusing the quotidian with a sense of something nearly numinous. To risk a large formulation, which McQuilkin would likely shrug off, I'd say his is, at root, a redemptive vision, an ability to encounter tough truths, and by encountering them without flinching, to come through. Quietly vigilant, affectionate yet scrupulous and at times humorously wry, the poems in The Weathering in their landscapes and dreamscapes, their weathers, their swift erotic swerves, their family of loved ones, their undimmed, perpetual relish for the things of nature and the things of man give, in form and content, language and matter, continuous pleasure." --Eamon Grennan
Speaking of McQuilkin's earlier book, of which this is an expansion, Gray Jacobik has said, "Rennie McQuilkin writes in the gracious and prized practice of poetry's high calling, the American Romantic tradition. The poems in The Weathering excel in conception, execution, passion, and musicality. McQuilkin's diction is rich yet never overblown, and his syntax carries the full burden of each poem's meaning with a brook's easy sinuosities. And yet individual persons, in the midst of calamity or triumph, deeply and compassionately regarded, are at the center of each work, as are an extensive range of subjects the art we make, our relationship to the sweet and sometimes harsh Earth, our many physical and spiritual chastisements. Elegant and tenderhearted, replete with sound-play and radiant metaphor, such poems rank with the best of Carruth, Kunitz, Nemerov, and Warren. In these flashy, frantic, noisy times, poems of McQuilkin's precision and subtle control, whose razzle-dazzle comes from the depths and not the surfaces of experience, are far too easily overlooked. The cost of such neglect is inestimable." --Gray Jacobik
Speaking of McQuilkin's earlier book, of which this is an expansion, Richard Wilbur has said, "This New & Selected gives us the plenty and variety of a whole lifetime of doing, feeling, and perceiving, as conveyed by a poet who knows his trade. Rennie McQuilkin's poems are spare and accurate, and they have an unostentatious brilliance of structure, a seemingly offhand way of threading thought through their particulars." --Richard Wilbur
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Book Description Antrim House, Simsbury, CT, 2015. Soft Cover. Condition: New. Illustrated orange card covers, 407pp completely unmarked and brand new. Seller Inventory # 009070