PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Kei Millerthe Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume

(PN Review 241)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Next Issue Jen Schmitt on Ekphrasis Rachel Hadas on Text and Pandemic Kirsty Gunn Essaying two Jee Leong Koh Palinodes in the Voice of my Dead Father Maureen Mclane Correspondent Breeze
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This article is taken from PN Review 178, Volume 34 Number 2, November - December 2007.

Ed Dorn's Theatre of Impatience John Muckle

I first heard of the poetry of Ed Dorn in a letter from a friend who was being taught by him at Essex University. This was 1974. I was attending the University of Warwick, and not attending much. I'd been put off by someone I later learned was the Romanticism lecturer, who, upon hearing of my enthusiasm for Allen Ginsberg in the university bar, raised his head from his pint and said: 'They're not letting your sort in, are they?' I went on strike. I slept all day and stayed up all night in lonely misery. I occupied the new arts centre, with other students politicised by the death of Kevin Gately at the hands of the police on a demonstration in Red Lion Square. I took a coach down to Colchester to sleep on my friend Robert's study-room floor in the black towers and hear 'this guy Ed Dorn' read his poetry.

He read from Gunslinger, his book-length satirical poem, then a work-in-progress, and 'Recollections of Gran Apacheria', poems about the last days of Cochise and Geronimo and the brutal attrition of their 'endless fights/with the whites'. Gunslinger seemed good fun, if a little hard to follow, an endless series of in-jokes that were sometimes difficult to get. I had the impression Dorn was an international cocaine smuggler, by means of which he financed a number of third world revolutions, and an enlightened literature department fell about knowingly at his ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image