The Letter I

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The Letter I

Longueur: 144 pages47 minutes


In his first two books, Spiritus Pizza and Entering Dennis, poet Dennis Rhodes trained his singular voice and keen eye on the challenges of coming of age in a world overshadowed, if not defined, by HIV. His subjects were people and places on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and fabled Commercial Street in Provincetown. A long-time survivor of HIV (25 years), Rhodes wrote with urgency, wit, and caprice, struggling to find his place in a tenuous culture of medical and political advances. Rudy Kikel, longtime arts editor of Boston’s Bay Windows, pronounced Rhodes a “poet’s poet.” In his work as literary editor of Body Positive magazine and as host of Poets Corner on P’town’s WOMR-FM, Dennis Rhodes championed a dazzling array of gay poetic voices. The Letter I, the poet’s first book in ten years, follows Rhodes into middle age, addressing matters of love, sex, faith, art, and friendship early in a new century.

“Dennis Rhodes is Provincetown’s citizen-poet... a poet of the democratic whose earlier book Spiritus Pizza and other poems was a rough and tumble grab bag of rhymed autobiographical musings which moved us, as a trolley, rather abruptly toward Provincetown's main square.”
—Walter Holland, author of Circuit

“Searing in their honesty, yet tender in their poignancy, the poems in this collection are each a heart laid bare. They offer us a window into a world of many seared hearts where every day is a struggle to define the one word, “I.” This collection will make you at turns want to laugh or want to cry. Most of all, it will make you contemplate what it means to be human.”
—Judith Valente, correspondent, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly on PBS-TV, author of Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith; The Art of Pausing, Inventing an Alphabet; and Discovering Moons

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