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Dear Ghosts


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About the Author

Tess Gallagher was born in Port Angeles, Washington, the daughter of a logger and longshoreman. A poet, essayist, fiction writer and playwright, she has published many books, including four poetry titles in Britain with Bloodaxe: My Black Horse: New & Selected Poems (1995), Portable Kisses (1996), Dear Ghosts, (2007) and Midnight Lantern: New & Selected Poems (2012), to be followed by Is, Is Not in 2019. She has published three collections of stories, The Lover of Horses (1986), At the Owl Woman Saloon (1997) and The Man from Kinvara: Selected Stories (2009), plus two books of essays, A Concert of Tenses: Essays on Poetry (1986) and Soul Barnacles: Ten More Years with Ray (2000). She co-authored two screenplays with Raymond Carver, and later contributed to the making of the Robert Altman film Short Cuts, based on Carver's work. She has also written introductions to books such as A New Path to the Waterfall and All of Us by Raymond Carver and Carver Country. She collaborated with the Irish storyteller Josie Gray to set his stories into print in Barnacle Soup (Blackstaff, 2007). She currently lectures for the Whidby Island Writers Workshop MFA in Washington State during the Winter term. In May 2013 she hosted a Raymond Carver Festival on the Olympic Peninsula where she lived with her late husband until his death in 1988. She spends part of each year in the West of Ireland, near Sligo.


Gallagher's big, emotion-rich volume is her first in 14 years: she enjoys dual reputations as an accessible, likable maker of verse about scenes and spaces in women's lives (somewhat like Jane Hirshfeld or Mary Oliver) and as the widow of short story master Raymond Carver and curator of his legacy. "I can't help my changes any more/ than you could yours," says a poem on the anniversary of Carver's death. There are other elegies, and poems that commemorate other friends and family among the living; outline her European, Asian and sub-Arctic travels; and pursue the lessons she draws from South and East Asian religious practices. Gallagher's own fight against cancer provides another subtext for many poems and the explicit subject for a few. She celebrates her survival while finding "Time/ to admit the limitations of death." The many who cherished her earlier verse will find the new work profound. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Here is . . . Tess Gallagher's rich, striking, new collection "Dear Ghosts, ". The comma in her title emphasizes how elegiac the book is, addressed to ghosts of various kinds and degrees of intimacy." --ROBERT PINSKY, "The Washington Post ""So compelling are Gallagher's graceful poems, they leave the reader feeling 'rearranged from the cells out.'" --"Booklist "(starred review)

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