JAMES CRENNER, PROFESSOR EMERITUS OF ENGLISH
Crenner’s collection, "Drinks at the Stand-Up Tragedy Club," is a collection poems spanning about a 10-year period recently published by the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Press and in conjunction with Wolf at the Door Press.
“Very few of them were originally conceived with others of them in mind, so it isn't easy to characterize the book as a whole,” said Crenner of his work. And with 11 dramatic monologues scattered throughout, spoken by such odd narrators as Melpomene, the muse of tragedy, and the hare in Zeno's paradox, Crenner believes the poems represent a great variety of styles.
“I remember Jim Crenner writing with the most elegant intelligence of any of our little group of young poets who had stumbled into Iowa City in the sixties. He was also the best athlete and the best looking. His poetry sang with intelligence. Now look at what he has made through the years. His is a poetry that sees through civilization and time while employing all the graces and grace notes available to both. And just when you think it's a lullaby... oh, you'll see. Here are the detailed days of our lives and our larger culture. Here is an educated wit applied to a learned self-awareness. Here are mythological characters reborn alongside our versions of their lives. Here, too, one will come upon an amazing reincarnation of an erotic Emily Dickinson. Try doing that. Whoever opens this collection will keep the light on late.” — Marvin Bell
“Poetry contains philosophy, frames it, cradles it. Who says the intellect can’t have its laments and recitatives? Jim Crenner’s poems are steeped in tradition and remain strictly observant of our times.” — Stephen Kuusisto
PROVIDED BY HWS PRESS