Thom Gunn

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Gunn, Thom

(Thomson William Gunn), 1929–2004, Anglo-American poet, b. Gravesend, Kent, England, grad. Trinity College, Cambridge (1953). Gunn published his first volume of poems, the critically acclaimed Fighting Terms, in 1954. He moved to California in the mid-1950s, studied with Yvor WintersWinters, Yvor,
1900–1968, American poet and critic, b. Chicago, educated at the Univ. of Chicago, Univ. of Colorado (M.A., 1925), and Stanford (Ph.D., 1934). From 1928 until his death he was a member of the English department of Stanford.
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, and settled (1960) in San Francisco. Gunn is particularly known for addressing the rebellious and forbidden, and often chronicled his adopted city—its street life, drug culture, and gay scene. In later verse, he wrote of the deaths of friends as AIDS ravaged his city, and death became one of his greatest themes. Generally direct and unsentimental, he was equally skilled at traditional rhymed, free, and syllabic verse. His volumes include The Sense of Movement (1957), My Sad Captains (1961), Touch (1967), The Passages of Joy (1983), The Man with Night Sweats (1992), and Boss Cupid (2000). His essay are collected in The Occasions of Poetry (1982, repr. 1999) and Shelf Life (1993). He taught (1958–66; 1973–90) at the Univ. of California, Berkeley.


See his Collected Poems (1994); studies by A. Bold (1976), A. E. Dyson, ed. (1990), S. Michelucci (2009), and J. Weiner, ed. (2009).

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References in periodicals archive ?
Duncan was a person of tremendous generosity, with a wonderful imagination" (Thom Gunn in Conversation 36-37).
Deftly written and refreshingly nonacademic, Eminent Outlaws spans fifty years of gay fiction, drama, and poetry from Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, Allen Ginsberg, and James Baldwin to Edmund White, Michael Cunningham, Thom Gunn, and Tony Kushner.
of Iowa) juxtaposes the first and last books of seven poets: Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, Anne Sexton, Thom Gunn, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and Robert Pinsky.
JOSHUA WEINER is the author of two books of poetry, The World's Room and From The Book Of Giants; he is also the editor of At The Barriers: On The Poetry Of Thom Gunn (all from Chicago).
Themes of his later works include literature?notably, Victorian works, contemporary poets, and the works of James Joyce, Allen Ginsberg, Rumi, Federico Garcia Lorca, Thom Gunn, Paul Monette, James Broughton, Colette Inez, and Bram Stoker, as well as his own personal stories.
In the 1972 typescript publication, Robert Duncan's Poems from the Margins of Thom Gunn's Moly are variously presented as "from the margins of," "inspired by," and "translated from." In terms of compositional practice, Duncan did not make firm distinctions between marginalia, inspiration, and translation: for him, all three constitute responsive or reactive dimensions of poetry.
FACES of Poetry at Bodelwyddan Castle offers a new perspective on great wordsmiths such as Seamus Heany, Blake Morrison and Thom Gunn.
His avowed goal is to produce poetry that will remain beyond the grubby paws of academics: "to produce a poem that the critic cannot even talk about." Unlike openly gay poets such as James Merrill and Thom Gunn, Ashbery does not refer directly to his sexuality in his poems.
The Poetry of Thom Gunn goes through an exhaustive overview of the man, his history, and his works.
Creeley, Charles Simic, Thom Gunn, and George Cuomo.
Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson, Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais, the poet Thom Gunn and his houseful of committed partners--well, what we've always been is inventive, resourceful, and alive to the many ways it's possible to be together, to make a life.
rainwater ponding on his roof; what if thom gunn never thought of