With blazing wit and a searing language, David Groff writes fiercely of erosion and endurance in this stunning debut collection. At turns fervent and elegiac, dishy and sly, these poems confront the effect of AIDS and HIV on a brotherhood that dealt firsthand with grief and loss and, later, the tenuous prospect of survival. Peopled with the spirits of dead gay men, uncertain lovers, mortal parents, and spectral friends and brothers, Groff's poems are unified by their preoccupation with what erodes us and what we can hold onto when life and love devolve. "Theory of Devolution" is a book of balances: alternately passionate and restrained, headlong and meditative, engaged and knowingly detached. David Groff's territory is Chelsea and Fire Island, at the end of a nightmare crisis but nowhere near the end of an epidemic. How, in such times, to speak. These pages give voice to an 'always-dying particular man,' examining the evidence of loss and pleasure and the deep bonds of affection in poems alive with 'an odd crabbed pulse of beauty they refine to true detail.'" - Mark Doty"David Groff's poems open our attention by a subtle, unflinching love of human being. The live, known past spins sharp and fine in and out of the now of his vision. His language exhilarates." - Marie Ponsot.
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Published August 26, 2002
by University of Illinois Press.
Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference.