Hidden Water - Frank Stanford
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Hidden Water - Frank Stanford

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Born in 1948, Frank Stanford was a prolific poet known for his originality and ingenuity. He has been dubbed “a swamprat Rimbaud” by Lorenzo Thomas and “one of the great voices of death” by Franz Wright. He grew up in Mississippi, Tennessee, and then Arkansas, where he lived for most of his life and wrote many of his most powerful poems. Stanford died in 1978. He authored over ten books of poetry, including eight volumes in the last seven years of his life.

“The Mississippi-born, Memphis-bred poet once shot off a double-barreled shotgun in the middle of a party he’d thrown for Allen Ginsberg because he considered some of the guests to be ‘lightweights,’ his longtime friend Bill Willett recently recalled . . . ‘All the lightweights left.’ What About This and Hidden Water, considered together with The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You, give us Stanford’s body of work in one place, more or less, allowing us to explore his cosmos on our own. “ —The Oxford American

“… the long-awaited resurrection of Frank Stanford, a legendary badass from Arkansas, much of whose poetry has been unavailable since his suicide at the age of 29 in 1978… Stanford was a hell of a metaphor-maker and simile-slinger, and could cast a spell of extreme intensity with a flick of his wrist.”—NPR.org

“His love poems can sound like the cry of an angel falling backward through an open window, to borrow Dwight Yoakam’s line about Roy Orbison’s voice . . . . Mr. Stanford could lose his heart without blowing his cool.”—New York Times, 2015

“It’s hard to imagine a more fitting subject for a Third Man Books project than the poet Frank Stanford. He’s not quite poetry’s Robert Johnson, but the Mississippi-born Arkansas native’s work reaches beyond poetry’s converted, just as Johnson was a gateway bluesman. Stanford also comes complete with a legend of writing, romance and recklessness.”—Spilt Milk

“. . . It is astounding to me that I was not even aware of this accomplished and moving poet. There is a great deal of pain on the poems, but it is a pain that makes sense, a tragic pain whose meaning rises from the way the poems are so firmly molded and formed from within."—James Wright.


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