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What Silence Equals

What Silence Equals Tory Dent, Foreword by Sharon Olds

The "brilliant and challenging" (Library Journal) exploration of living with HIV by the winner of the 1999 James Laughlin Award. First published in 1993, this virtuosic collection defined writing about AIDS for a generation of poets. Chaotic and incantatory, it is a submersion into the railing consciousness of a young woman on the precipice of mortality, its "dazzling and valiant poems...the psalms of our present moment" (Sharon Olds). 

Praise for the book:
"In searing poem after searing poem, without lessening the tension of giving any kind of relief, Dent describes exactly what it is to be in her skin, in her head...One of the great, necessary books to come out of the AIDS crisis" —Adrian Oktengberg, The Women's Review of Books

"Tory Dent charts her own waters. She's a poet of brilliance and shadows."—Eileen Myles, Denver Quarterly

"These poems are intelligent and alive, emanating not from what the author terms 'the negative state of my positiveness' but from the vertiginous cavern's edge: they are not poems about a disease but weather reports from an existential state...Bitter, bawdy, and sad, recalling the verse of medieval outlaw poet Francois Villon, to whom the title poem is dedicated, these are, unmistakably, love poems of our time."Ellen Kaufman, Library Journal

About the author:
Tory Dent is the author of three volumes of poetry: Black Milk (Sheep Meadow Press, 2005), HIV, Mon Amour (1999), which won the 1999 James Laughlin Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and What Silence Equals. Her poems appeared in such journals as Kenyon Review, Paris Review, Partisan Review and Ploughshares, and in the anthologies Life Sentences (1994), The Exact Change Yearbook (1995) and In the Company of My Solitude (1995). Her honors include grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial, The Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award, three PEN American Center Grants for Writers with AIDS and a John Simons Guggenheim Fellowship. An essayist and art critic as well, she lived in New York City and Maine and died in December 2005. 

Also available from Persea featuring Tory Dent:
In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic

Paperback/$13.95 (Can. $15.50)/ISBN: 978-0-89255-196-5/96 pages/Poetry




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