In this Poetry Book Society Special Commendation collection from the 1990 Lannan Literary Award winner for poetry, Peter Reading, the scourge of Britain's sham, uncaring society, sentences himself to a year's exile deep in the empty heart of Texas. This richly observed, unsparingly caustic booklength poem, presents the unflattering but grimly affectionate portrait of the hick town of Marfa (pop. 2,474). Here are cowpokes and Bible bashers, crazies in Chevies, trigger-happy Border Patrolmen, and gabby old-timers in Ray's Bar, all intent on bending Reading's ear. He takes it all in, just as the slaughtered Indians and despised 'Spiks' have done, but this suspicious stranger answers back. In blackly ironic, highly sophisticated poetry, created in their own language, out of their own drawling mouths, Reading's rednecks damn themselves in this latter-day, divine comedy set in an arid all-American wasteland.
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Published September 1, 2000
by Bloodaxe Books Ltd.
Literature & Fiction.