On the Writing of Gerald SternFourteen writers and critics examine the craft of a legendary American poet
Gerald Stern has been a significant presence and an impassioned and idiosyncratic voice in twentieth and twenty-first-century American poetry. Insane Devotionis a retrospective of his career and features fourteen writers, critics, and poets examining the themes, stylistic traits, and craft of a poet who has shaped and inspired American verse ...
The essays and interviews in Insane Devotion paint a broad picture of a man made whole by the influence of the written word. They touch on the contentious and nuanced stance of Judaism in the breadth of Stern’s work and explore Stern’s capacious memory and his use of personal history to illuminate our common humanity. What is revealed is a poet of complexity and heart, often tender, often outraged. As Philip Levine writes in his lyrical foreword to the volume, Stern is both sweet and spiky, a born teacher who can teach me to see the universe in an acorn and hear the music of the lost in an empty Pepsi can.” Contributors include Contributors J. T. Barbarese, Dara Barnat, Lucy Biederman, Michael Broek, Darla Himeles, Edward Hirsch, Tony Leuzzi, Laura McCullough, Alicia Ostriker, Lia Purpura, Ira Sadoff, Michael Waters, Judith Vollmer, and Dean Young.
“Gerald Stern is one of those writers whose style insinuates itself into your consciousness like a catchy tune, so that you find your thoughts echoing its rhythms, bopping from one to another, back and forth, like thought and language doing a jitterbug.”— Philadelphia Inquirer