Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mark Rudman writes:

I just heard about Norman Mailer's death. Sad! It might be of some interest that I wrote a poem in dialogue with The Executioner's Song, called "Provo." Of course I had the misfortune to spend too much of my adolescence in Salt Lake City, and I still haven't stopped trying to recreate the sense of repression that gave Gilmore's fate such a tragic cast. "Provo" was first published in the London Review, where I hoped Norman might have seen it, and later became the first poem in The Couple, a bad move in a way because reviewers often fixed on the poem and used up too much of their allotted space, and it was hardly typical of the dialogic poems in the book, although this is in dialogue with Mailer, my stepfather, the town, its inhabitants, and the landscape which I doubt corresponds to how people from the east coast see Utah, especially now in light of the upbeat Sundance. Park City is not Provo.

I'll put a link to Mark's new website in the list to the right. He is a singular poet, in the best sense. I'm particularly fond of the use he makes of Italian places and influences. I'll have a review of his latest book of poems, Sundays on the Phone, in the Spring 08 issue of Prairie Schooner. More will be said about the considerable pleasures of reading his essays and the poems of the Rider Quintet - five books of poetry published in the years 1994-2005 - in future posts.

No comments: