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D. A. Powell
kids everywhere are called to supper: it's late
it's dark and you're all played out. you want to go home

no rule is left to this game. playmates scatter like
breaking glass
they return to smear the ______. and you're it
—from "[you'd want to go to the reunion: see]"

In Cocktails, D. A. Powell closes his contemporary Divine Comedy with poems of sharp wit and graceful eloquence born of the AIDS pandemic. These poems, both harrowing and beautiful, strive toward redemption and light within the transformative and often conflicting worlds of the cocktail lounge, the cinema, and the Gospels.

"Powell recognizes in the contemporary the latest manifestations of a much older tradition: namely, what it is to be human . . . I admire these poems immensely, for their deftness with craft, their originality of vision, their ability to fuse old and new without devolving to gimmick-and for a dignity as jazzily inventive as it is sheer."—Carl Phillips, from the citation for the 2001 Boston Review Poetry Contest

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"In Cocktails, D.A. Powell's lens for examining reality and society is fitted with a very modern filter—passionate Wit."—Carol Frost

About the Author

D. A. Powell
Credit: Bill Valentine
D. A. Powell is the author of five collections of poetry, including Chronic, winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and Repast: Tea,Lunch, and Cocktails. Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys received the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. He lives in San Francisco.
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  • “Powell’s third, and best, book completes his much-talked about trilogy about growing up gay and uneasy in the age of HIV—and about living with the virus himself. . . . Not a journey to miss.”—Publishers Weekly
  • “Dazzling.”—Chicago Review
  • “Like Powell’s other books, this is startling, but this is startling in a new way, toward its close sounding more like Richard Crashaw—with its rich and elaborate religious imagery, its saintly foods and fabrics—than a casual modern poet.”—Thom Gunn
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