Dear Ghosts, (Magill's Literary Annual 2007)
In Dear Ghosts, Tess Gallagher’s elegiac mood and personal conviction create a sense of companionship between the living and the dead, a result of her long-standing fascination with memory and mourning. By refusing to release the valued presences of deceased friends and loved onesin particular the shade of her husband, short-story writer Raymond CarverGallagher enriches her work as a poet and her life as a person.
A notable earlier work, Moon Crossing Bridge (1992), is essentially an elegy for Carver in which Gallagher works through her grief over his death without relinquishing his imperishable influence in her life. The success of that volume enhanced Gallagher’s prominence as an accomplished poet, a status she had enjoyed since 1976 with the publication of Instructions to the Double. The volumes Portable Kisses: Love Poems (1992), Portable Kisses Expanded (1994), and My Black Horse: New and Selected Poems (1995) were well received, but the appearance of Dear Ghosts,made up of new and previously uncollected poemshas been hailed as a triumph.
The comma at the end of Gallagher’s title indicates that the work’s contents are intended as letters addressed to the deceased as well as the living, reading audience. Gallagher dedicates the work to her cherished ghosts, suggesting...
(The entire section is 1868 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2007)
American Poetry Review 35, no. 2 (March/April, 2006): 25.
Booklist 102, nos. 19/20 (June 1-15, 2006): 21.
Library Journal 131, no. 10 (June 1, 2006): 123.
New Criterion 24 (June 4, 2006): 70-77.
Ploughshares 32 (Fall, 2006): 215.
Publishers Weekly 253, no. 14 (April 3, 2006): 40.
The Washington Post, April 30, 2006, p. T12.
(The entire section is 30 words.)