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The Innermost Room by Ray Givans


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“Givans approaches his subjects from an angle, brings them to life in richly rewarding insights, imagery and patterns of sound. The themes: characters of faith and literature, from Emily Dickinson to Marilyn Monroe, exude breadth and depth, the language is refreshing and the characters stand before us, suddenly familiar and bathed in new light. A masterly gathering, delicately and astutely balanced. And a joy to read.”
John F. Deane

“In The Innermost Room, Givans conjures intimate episodes from the lives of historical figures and those who loved and suffered their peculiar qualities. He re-illuminates these relationships and, in the process, reveals his own creative and ethical sympathies. A formally deft collection, there is a delicacy to Givans’ imagery that regularly gives this reader pause, as when the would-be lover of the Trappist Monk, Thomas Merton, confronts the impossibility of physical love: “Behind you the weight of snow / haemorrhages on clipped wings of a lone cedar.” Inventive, touching and witty: Givans sustains the promise exhibited in his first full collection, Tolstoy in Love(Dedalus Press).”
Paul Maddern


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