I think I can safely say that John Wieners (1934-2002) is my absolute favorite poet. From his early lyric poetry in The Hotel Wentley Poems and Ace Of Pentacles (1964) to the more collage-like and sometimes impenetrable work found in Nerves and Behind the State Capitol or Cincinnati Turn-Pike (1975), his work is always on point, regardless of the era. So it is with great pleasure that I announce the publication of A New Book From Rome by Bootstrap Press. Here are a few words on the forthcoming volume by the poet and queer activist Charles Shively, whom I believe to be the executor of Wieners’ estate.
After John’s passing, Jim Dunn and I went through the notebook (red leather with gold trim) which Bill Berkson had given John who was locked up in a Long Island asylum in 1969. (Wieners wrote his Asylum Poems from that unhappy place.) With the notebook in hand, Jim and I (with great help and encouragement from John Mitzel) sought to identify unpublished complete poems from that... More