Poetry News

Chicago Tribune Reviews Incidents of Travel in Poetry

By Harriet Staff

frank lima

That's right, Frank Lima's new and selected works is now in the world thanks to Garrett Caples and Julien Poirier's editorial care and insight. At Chicago Tribune Jake Marmer gives readers a preview of what's to come:

The story goes that when an older poet at Columbia University's MFA program recommended his students seek out more solitude, Frank Lima — then in his late 30s — quipped: "I've been in solitary and I don't need more solitude."

This is a perfect example of the sort of a reality check, wit and candor that Lima brought to the New York literary scene. His posthumous full-length collection, "Incidents of Travel in Poetry: New and Selected Poems," published by City Lights, spans the lifetime of this enigmatic poet, who fell in love with writing as an inmate in a juvenile rehab; went on to form friendships and apprenticeships with Frank O'Hara, Kenneth Koch and Allen Ginsberg; published a few volumes; battled addictions; was married five times; became a high-profile chef; and wrote a great deal of material that hasn't been published anywhere until now.

Though Lima's style has gone through a great deal of permutations, the single most enduring characteristic of his work is a commitment to life's experience in its utmost and total intensity. Oftentimes, Lima achieves this through his lucid, scintillating surrealism.

Continue at Chicago Tribune. If you want a preview of the Incidents, head over to the November issue of Poetry where we offer a Lima portfolio with an introduction by Mr. Caples.