Cover image for HIV, mon amour : poems
HIV, mon amour : poems
Dent, Tory, 1958-2005.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Riverdale-on-Hudson, N.Y. : Sheep Meadow Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
93 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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Material Type
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Item Holds
PS3554.E586 H58 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This is a collection of daring poems that also dare the reader. As an HIV positive person, Dent writes out her own experience and profound refusal to look away or suspend feeling or turn away from love.'

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In What Silence Equals (1993), Dent took seriously the algebra of the AIDS activist group Act Up's slogan, confronting her HIV+ status and its then seeming death sentence with intellectual clarity and fierce despair. The title's play on the classic Duras novel and art film Hiroshima, Mon Amour prepares the reader at once for Dent's gothic narratives, and for her constant supply of cultural allusions. "Fourteen Days in Quarantine" leads the poet to supersaturate the poem with names: she sees the TB room as a Richard Serra sculpture and herself in her hospital gown as a Nan Goldin portrait; the view of the East River out her window reminds her of film noir; CNN and A&E offer a synthetic version of an interior life, while a shifting array of pharmaceuticals suggest the energetic confusion of the hope they hold out. Making a few escapes from the secure room, the poet comes back to "the gut feeling [I] had always associated with the word `Tory', the specific/ white pine amidst the general landscape." In poems dedicated to Marilyn Hacker, Sharon Olds and Adrienne Rich, among others, Dent reaches for a more obvious pathos. But in "Cinema Verite" she cuts from movie to movie, movingly cribbing material for a speech to her lover who has died in the epidemic. The title sequence contains the most annihilatingly subdued work in the book: "Nothing, not the winter trees reduced to underbrush at this distance nor their moulin-like branches, so baleful, have conspired against you." Chosen by Yusef Komunyakaa for this year's Academy of American Poets Laughlin award, Dent's second book records, unflinchingly, the mind's desperate clingings to life. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Stylistically one of the most daring books to be published in recent years, Dent's astonishing cri de coeur is also emotionally one of the most challenging: in detail as harsh, exacting, and whitely lit as the hospital corridors she frequents, Dent details her ongoing battle with HIV. The lines pour out of her wrecklessly, as if she can barely contain herself and the knowledge that this may be her last chance. Indeed, they wind across the page like prose; but no prose is this visceral, this immediate. "When they wheeled me up from ER into respiratory isolation the space radiated/ as if a magnifying glass were put to it under a sunray." The entire book radiates--with unrepressed life. No wonder this won the 1999 James Laughlin Award. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.