Synopses & Reviews
The poems in Dreaming at the Gates of Fury: New and Selected Poems
span 50 years, from the height of the Civil Rights movement to the
invasion of Iraq, and reflect the author's involvement in social
protest and anti-war movements.
range in tone from the satiric to the celebratory. There is a touch of
Catullus in the sixties poems, where Taylor observes characters
struggling for personal liberation from stifling conventions, and a
savage but comic irony in such political poems as "President
Reagan's Song." Some of these poems, such as
"Walking," also dramatize the struggles of the wayward
heart in a voice that is sometimes romantic but never sentimental so
that the reader knows that the emotions are earned. In fact, the voice
in these poems abhors sentimentality and the "easy fixes"
offered by popular commercial culture, as in the final poem, "Is
I must have lived my life all wrong,
never having had any grief counselors
or psychologists to comfort me on every move—
Imagine! —I endured the death of my friend
all by myself and for me every new town
was a great adventure. Maybe that’s why
I seldom cry at movies and am always ready
to kiss death on the mouth.
conversational, satiric or elegiac, these poems communicate in a direct
and clear language a lived life struggling to fully realize its
humanity by fighting for the humanity of others. Taylor's voice is
indeed a rare voice today when so much poetry merely spins its chariot
wheels in the ditch of self-absorption.
"Taylor's poems sing to me. They're deeply political, yet not defined by that alone. They are redolent of all the things that make up a life, and they weave together the many threads that give life texture and meaning. They are a profound 'yes!' to the adventure and challenge and wonder of living. If only for that reason alone they are worth reading." Chris Faatz, Powells.com
(read the entire Powells.com review
About the Author
Alexander Taylor has been Co-Director of Curbstone Press since its founding in 1975. The founder of two literary magazines, Patterns
and The Wormwood Review
, he has worked most of his adult life as an editor and teacher.
He was Poet-in-Residence at Central Connectiuct State University in 1974 and 1976. Author of four books of poetry, Clear Water, Zadar, Love Is a Terrible Light, and Voices in the Park,
he has also translated extensively from Danish literature. His poems
and translations have appeared in numerous magazines, including CafE Review, Cedar Hill Review, Common Ground, the Connecticut Review, Kayak, the Massachusetts Review, the Minnesota Review, Northern Lights, Rattle, and the Unrealist.
He has also been the
recipient of numerous grants for writing and translating, including
support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Connecticut
Commission on the Arts, The American Philosophical Society, The
American Council for Learned Societies, and the Danish Academy.
He lives in Willimantic, Connecticut.