Book Excerpt! Thick and Dazzling Darkness: Religious Poetry in a Secular Age (introduction)

Thick and Dazzling Darkness undertakes the daunting task of exploring spirituality (qua poetry) in a way that connects such otherwise dissimilar poets as the self-consciously backward-looking Robinson Jeffers, the peculiarly American modernism of Robert Duncan, and the (at)tendent postmodernism of Fanny Howe and Nathaniel Mackey.

~ G. C. Waldrep, Bucknell University

Wrapping up this week’s National Poetry Month feature is Thick and Dazzling Darkness: Religious Poetry in a Secular Age, by Peter O’Leary. In this work, O’Leary reads a diverse set of writers to argue for the importance of religious poetry in twentieth- and twenty-first-century American literature. He traces a poetic genealogy that begins with Whitman and Dickinson and continues today to defend the value and meaning of religious poetry against the grain of a secular society.

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