Richard Scott’s poetry anthology is an arresting, personal window into life at its rawest, and an invigorating insertion of contemporary homosexuality into modern poetry.
Read the poem “Public Library, 1998”:
Chosen because it’s the first in the anthology, so not too much of a spoiler and let me tell you – it does not stop crescendoing until the very end (an extended metaphor like no other). Chosen also because this poem explains better than I ever could the whole of Soho as an anthology – from a tender delicacy to whimsy, erotic to intellectual, harrowing to joyful, devastating to hopeful, all seamlessly, interchangeably.
Some poems you read, and it feels like a painting, drawn on a blank canvas. With others, it is as if the writer is a sculptor, chipping away at a chunk of life to depict the sometimes-exquisite, often-startling intricacy (and intimacy) underneath.
This is essential reading on love, abuse, healing, sex, shame, and the stolen history of the queer community. You know it’s good when you find yourself rummaging around for post-it notes.
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