A poetry collection spanning the career of award-winning writer Paul Monette
Paul Monette got his start writing poetry, and it was to this form that he returned following the death of his partner Roger Horwitz from AIDS-related complications. This stunning collection includes Monette’s early work as well as the beautiful and wrenching poems borne out of this immense loss. Written with characteristic wit, these poems deftly traverse humor, rage, love, and sorrow.
West of Yesterday, East of Summer captures the range of an important writer.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Paul Monette including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the Paul Monette papers of the UCLA Library Special Collections.read more
Paul Monette (1945–1995) was an author, poet, and gay rights activist. Born in Massachusetts and educated at Yale University, he moved with his partner Roger Horwitz to Los Angeles in 1978 and became involved in the gay rights movement. Monette’s writing captures the sense of heartbreak and loss at the center of the AIDS crisis. His first novel, Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll, was published in 1978, and he went on to write several more works of fiction, poetry, and memoir. Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir, the tender account of his partner’s battle with the disease, earned him both PEN Center West and Lambda literary awards. In 1992, Monette won the National Book Award in Nonfiction for Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story, an autobiography detailing his early life and his struggle with his sexuality. Written as a classic coming-of-age story, Becoming a Man became a seminal coming-out story. In 1995, Monette founded the Monette-Horwitz Trust, which honors individuals and organizations working to combat homophobia. Monette died in his home in West Hollywood in 1995 of complications from AIDS.read more
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For some poets, a single event transforms their art and their lives. That event for National Book Award winner Monette (Becoming a Man) was the death of his lover, Roger Horwitz, from AIDS in 1986. Although this book includes a selection of Monette's early, mannerly, accomplished work, it really gets going with the poems from Love Alone: 18 Elegies for Rog, written ``for those who are mad with loss.'' In a torrential, unpunctuated style, Monette's poetry captures the experience of living with a loved one who has AIDS: the anxiety when ``I'd go/ around the house with a rag of ammonia/ wiping wiping crazed as a housewife on Let's/ Make a Deal the deal being PLEASE DON'T MAKE/ HIM SICK AGAIN''; fury with a seemingly hostile government bureaucracy; and the leitmotif of truncated love and ``too much grief.'' Monette's newest poems are unabashedly satirical, as in the Swiftean protest of ``The Supreme Pork'' against the decision in the Bowers v. Hardwick case to uphold Georgia's sodomy laws. Moving in their anger and their mourning, the new poems testify to Monette's position: ``AIDS is the great cleave in the world, and nothing will ever be the same again. I'm glad I was able to take my stand with the suffering and the banished.'' (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved