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Maestro of Solitude: New Poems & Poetics book coverMaestro of Solitude: New Poems & Poetics

by Robert Bonazzi

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Paperback, 116 pages

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ePub ISBN: 978-1-60940-084-2
Kindle ISBN: 978-1-60940-085-9
Library PDF ISBN: 978-1-60940-086-6

Above: Robert Bonazzi reads from Maestro of Solitude at the 2010 San Antonio Luminaria. Video by Public Studio.

Author of the critically-acclaimed biography, Man in the Mirror: John Howard Griffin and the Story of Black Like Me, Robert Bonazzi's Maestro of Solitude: New Poems & Poetics is his fifth book of poems but first in 20 years. It highlights work from the 1990s into the new millennium.

These are dialogues between the clockwork of ego and timeless solitude, between earthly intimacy and the death of loved ones; lucid discourses on global politics and besieged communities; and witty takes on poetics and the arts. Never sanctimonious or glib, these spare, well-crafted poems draw upon the slow gathering wisdom of late middle age. "The soul's solitude is keenly felt in Bonazzi's poetry, especially his newer work," writes literary critic Paul Christensen in West of the American Dream. "He was following arguments that go back to roots of modernist experiment which turn on a profound distrust of words as having been appropriated for political and commercial use. Language was no longer the medium of free expression but an exploited means for showing the workings of one's consciousness. Some words didn't work any longer, like freedom, justice, truth, even love. The challenge was to not only loosen syntax from its old eloquent formulas, but to space out the words, calling attention to their peculiarities, their density and life as objects, as things, and not as the subservient noises by which self made its claims. One thing you hear most insistently in Bonazzi's lyric impulse is the desire to escape from self, to liberate language from its entrapments in selfish, instrumental logic."

Christensen ranks Bonazzi among the unsung heroes of modern American poetry: "If one were to attempt to put Bonazzi somewhere in the literary mountain, you would have to assign him a place near the peak, where the air is thinner and the paths are all trod by mountain goats and a few wizards and geniuses. He has taken poetry to its limits of subtlety, where sense nearly but not quite gives out into silence and awe. He is a Yield sign to those who might otherwise want to step on it and hog the road and declare self the triumphant virtue. He says no, and he points the way toward the ascetic life, and to his own, which is austere without being self-consciously hermetic or saintly."

Praised by poets Mark Van Doren, Thomas Merton, Guy Davenport, Robert Peters and Naomi Shihab Nye, as well as in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Poetry Now, Choice, The Texas Observer, Dallas Morning News and Austin American-Statesman, Bonazzi's new book sails beyond his earlier poetic efforts.

Critical Praise


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Buy This Book : $16

ISBN 9780916727437 978-0-916727-43-7
US $16.00
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