Thursday, August 16, 2007

Liam Rector, Poet, Essayist, and Educator.

Before her suicide in 1974, a fan said of Anne Sexton, "I don't read poetry, but I read Anne Sexton". It was the personal nature of her poems, the "will go there" attitude, and the no-hold-barred approach, with no hint of sentimentality or (in my opinion) pretense, that made her so hugely popular. I like poetry, and like most people like to write my own shitty poetry, but few people stir the spirit of that fan's point in me. Liam Rector, who profile at poetry.org has not yet been updated with the news of his death was one of those few.

He had struggled with, and wrote about health issues, including his cancer, and was said to have a tremendous "appetite for life". His suicide comes as a surprise, then, as they usually do when the person committing the act really means it. They don't give warnings, they just pull the trigger.

It is great loss to the world of literature, to people who read poetry, and of course the people who knew him. I did not but I would have liked to.

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