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Letters to a Stranger
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The searing collection, a cult favorite for decades, by the late Thomas James
I will last forever. I am not impatient--
My skin will wait to greet its old complexions.
I'll lie here till the world swims back again.
--from "Mummy of a Lady Named Jemutesonekh" Thomas James's "Letters to a Stranger"--originally published in 1973, shortly before James's suicide--has become one of the underground classics of contemporary poetry. In this new edition, with an introduction by Lucie Brock-Broido and four of James's poems never before published in book form, this fraught and moving masterpiece is at last available.
"" "Letters to a Stranger" is a new book in the Graywolf Poetry Re/View Series, edited by Mark Doty, dedicated to bringing essential books of contemporary American poetry back into print.
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About the Author

Thomas James (1946-74) was from Joliet, Illinois. Letters to a Stranger, which won the Theodore Roethke Prize from Poetry Northwest in 1969, was his only book of poetry.

Reviews

"Letters to a Stranger" is a book of dark intensities and deeply felt connections, both haunted and haunting, at once brooding, sensual and lucid . . . The voice in these poems--painfully lonely and filled with longing, estranged and religious--has stayed with me for more than twenty years. It deserves to be remembered. "Edward Hirsch, The Washington Post"" "Letters to a Stranger is a book of dark intensities and deeply felt connections, both haunted and haunting, at once brooding, sensual and lucid . . . The voice in these poems--painfully lonely and filled with longing, estranged and religious--has stayed with me for more than twenty years. It deserves to be remembered." --Edward Hirsch, The Washington Post ""Letters to a Stranger" is a book of dark intensities and deeply felt connections, both haunted and haunting, at once brooding, sensual and lucid . . . The voice in these poems-painfully lonely and filled with longing, estranged and religious-has stayed with me for more than twenty years. It deserves to be remembered." -Edward Hirsch, "The Washington Post" ""Letters to a Stranger" is a book of dark intensities and deeply felt connections, both haunted and haunting, at once brooding, sensual and lucid . . . The voice in these poems--painfully lonely and filled with longing, estranged and religious--has stayed with me for more than twenty years. It deserves to be remembered." --Edward Hirsch, "The Washington Post"

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