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Today's poem is "Song: The Kiss"
from This Particular Eternity

Ausable Press

Steve Orlen is the author of two chapbooks and four collections of poetry (Permission to Speak, A Place at the Table, The Bridge of Sighs, and Kisses. He has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, as well as the George Dillon Memorial Award from Poetry magazine. He teaches at the University of Arizona and in the low-residency M.F.A. Program at Warren Wilson College.

About This Particular Eternity:

Steve Orlen is the foremost contemporary embodiment of the poetic legacy of Randall Jarrell. Orlen's poems are more streetwise, but they have Jarrell's sad, wise eyes, the not-quite-jaded wonder, the vision of our folly which both sees and forgives. And the voice, in its alloy of the ruthless and the sentimental, is Jarrellian, a vehicle of such casual, confiding earnestness, one hardly notices the many chord changes, the masterful loosening and tightening of the narrative coils.

"Keen in their social observation, at times bluntly personal, full of slow builds and quick stabs, these poems are rich in what Jarrell called 'the ordinariness of life; what people do; where people go; the ways of life.' Their real subject is the education-in-progress of the soul, always a stranger, and the bemused, inquiring witness of narration itself.
Anyone who believes, in this era of the fragment, that the discursive narrative American poem is linear or simplistic or exhausted, should try these poems; at his best, Orlen is the equal of anyone writing."
—Tony Hoagland



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