Your Father on the Train of Ghosts (American Poets Continuum #126) (Paperback)
BOA Editions, 9781934414484, 230pp.
Publication Date: May 17, 2011
Your Father on the Train of Ghosts is one of the most extensive collaborations in American poetry. Over the course of a year, acclaimed poets G.C. Waldrep and John Gallaher wrote poems back and forth, sometimes once or twice a week, sometimes five or six a day. As the collaboration deepened, a third "voice" emerged that neither poet can claim as solely their own.
The poems of Your Father on the Train of Ghosts read as lyric snapshots of a culture we are all too familiar with, even as it slips from us: malls and supermarkets, museums and parades, toxic waste and cheesecakes, ghosts and fire, fathers and sons. Ultimately, these fables and confessions constitute a sort of gentle apocalypse, a user-friendly self-help manual for the end of time.
G.C. Waldrep is author of Goldbeater's Skin (2003 Colorado Prize for poetry), Disclamor, and Archicembalo (2008 Dorset Prize). He has won awards from the Poetry Society of America and Academy of American Poets, fellowships at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony; and an NEA fellowship. He holds an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and teaches at Bucknell University.
John Gallaher is author of Gentlemen in Turbans, Ladies in Cauls, The Little Book of Guesses (Levis Poetry Prize), and Map of the Folded World. His poetry has been included in The Best American Poetry series and numerous journals and anthologies. He co-edits The Laurel Review, GreenTower Press, and the Akron Series of Contemporary Poetics. He teaches at Northwest Missouri State University.
About the Author
Praise For Your Father on the Train of Ghosts (American Poets Continuum #126)…
"This is not a typical collaboration. It is not a book of exquisite corpse poems or turnbased Mad Libs. It is also not a G.C. Waldrep or a John Gallaher book; rather, a hybrid speaker emerges wearing Waldrep's hat and Gallaher's sneakers."
"This ample and sometimes witty collaboration between upandcoming poet Waldrep and upandcoming poet, critic, and blogger Gallaher could get attention for its unusual methods."
"Your Father on the Train of Ghosts may be the first email renga, but it probably won't be the last. The co-authors inhabit 'a growing region, but there are others too, regions/ and examples of regions,' together with 'rhubarb futures' and 'this child's chalk drawing on the sidewalk/of a sea monster on a Tilt-a-Whirl.' 'We are free/for a limited time,' one of them writes (we don't know who wrote what), and that augurs a peculiarly American kind of happiness.
Your Father on the Train of Ghosts is an extensive, joint undertaking developed over the period of a year from an email correspondence between two of the finest younger American poets writing todaywhat is more interesting than charting their differences is seeing these two poets lose their individual voices as the boundaries between them fracture, widening into yet another distinct voicea third voice, dissimilar from either of their own, which operates like the ghosts suggested by the title; a voice that is as profound as it is endearing, as familiar as it is confiding.”