Poets and the Fools Who Love Them: A Memoir in Essays
Published by: LSU Press
Imprint: LSU Press
Sales Date: 2022-02-16
Published: February 2022
Imprint: LSU Press
Page Count: 246 Pages
Dimensions: 152.00 x 228.00
246 Pages, 152.00 x 228.00 x 0.70 in
Temporarily Out Of StockAdd to Wishlist
Poets and the Fools Who Love Them blends autobiography with cultural commentary and meditates on creative writing as a cottage industry within humanities higher education. Celebrated poet and memoirist Richard Katrovas examines his picaresque early years with a criminal father, a beleaguered mother, and four siblings as state and federal authorities pursued the family across the highways of America. His freewheeling, wide-ranging essays consider, among other social constructs, the relation of crime and art, and the relation of both to the authority of the state, particularly in terms of race and class. Katrovas speaks candidly about how white privilege facilitated his father?s criminal career, as a lifestyle of larceny and used-car scams, perpetuated state to state, would have surely had different implications for a family of color.
Drawing on his adulthood in academe, Katrovas?s memoir in essays chronicles a quest to locate surrogate fathers among older poets and other creative writers, and reflects upon the ways in which that search has affected his role as the father to three Czech American daughters. The book flows from the love of a poet for other poets, for the ?community of poets,? one likened to a ?gang of priests? and a ?herd of bears.? Katrovas maintains that most lovers of poets are themselves poets, and those lovers of poets who are not themselves poets are saints.
At its heart, Poets and the Fools Who Love Them contemplates, with care and unabashed honesty, the role of art and the artist in the madcap twenty-first century.
?One of the many delights of reading Richard Katrovas?s poetry memoir?or as he calls it his ?spectacularly weird life story??is to see his mind at work, turning an image or an idea or metaphor over and over like a wild dog at a bone?chewing on it, spitting it out, but always with great energy and real hunger for the truth. It is not only the result I value, though many of his takes are brilliantly original? but the poetic process itself rendered in valiant prose so even a poet-hater might get it. He is a poet through and through, so much so he has called himself an ex-poet, which only a real poet would do. His love is fiercer than his hate, and his unlikely account of becoming and remaining a poet is entirely likable.?Rodger Kamenetz, author of The Jew in the Lotus: A Poet’s Rediscovery of Jewish Identity in Buddhist India