Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Frank Samperi


Two years ago, I was introduced to the beautiful, delicate poems of Frank Samperi by Elizabeth Robinson. I have spent the time since acquiring rare, out-of-print editions of his books and learning as much as I can about this poet whose work, though abundant and original, is largely unknown.

This seems to be changing due in large part to the work of his daughter, Claudia, who started a blog devoted to her father's life and work. There are also two wonderful essays on Samperi's work available online by Peter O'Leary and J. Townsend. This past week, PennSound launched Frank Samperi's author page featuring a recording of Samperi reading in 1987 and pdf versions of four of his out-of-print collections.

I find something incredibly beautiful, earnest and sustaining in efforts like these to rescue a singular voice from obscurity. Recoveries, rediscoveries of this kind make contemporary poetry the vibrant and diverse creature that it is, and I applaud and thank all those involved in bringing Frank Samperi back into the world.

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