Randall Mann is the author of three collections of poetry, Straight Razor (Persea Books, forthcoming); Breakfast with Thom Gunn (University of Chicago, 2009), shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award and California Book Award; and Complaint in the Garden (Zoo/Orchises, 2004), winner of the 2003 Kenyon Review Prize. His poems and prose in The Washington Post, The Paris Review, The New Republic, Poetry, and The Kenyon Review. He lives in San Francisco.
Statement of Poetics
I'm a formalist.
I believe in limits, in setting boundaries so that I can rub up against them. I
believe in brevity and cunning variation and the weight of the line....
¾But let me stop. Nearly everything I know in my heart about poetry is better said by Marianne Moore in the last stanza of "What Are Years?":
So he who strongly feels,
behaves. The very bird,
grown taller as he sings, steels
his form straight up. Though he is captive,
his mighty singing
says, satisfaction is a lowly
thing, how pure a thing is joy.
This is mortality,
this is eternity.
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