Karon Luddy is an exciting talent, the product of a vivid, conflicted experience of Upstate South Carolina by a quick, rebellious temperament. In this respect, these free-verse poems are highly original as a body yet not without precedent in American literature. For example, there is Stephen Crane's rebellion against the Methodist religion of his mother in The Black Riders and Other Lines, a savagely compressed Whitman or extenuated Dickinson. The pleasure of Luddy's "Family Reunion" derives from combining "Mama's closing statement to God," "big-hearted heathen" Aunt Margaret's "chocolate silk pie," and "my father's dented flask." In another poem, delirium tremens is pronounced a symptom of the father's attempted escape from hospital "Naked as Adam." But when discharged, his eyes shine "like black marbles he'd won from the Devil."
"Ron Moran's poetry immediately leaps from the page to the feet and ankles of the reader's experience. You're on the sidewalk with his characters, you're a flash dancer in his every scenario. He stole one of your monologues right out of your own phone conversation—how does he do that? Across the board, and no matter the particular style of the Moran day, his poems are the view across the street, the dinner beside you at the restaurant, and they are, if you were a poet, too, the outrageously creative language experience you wish you'd have in you."--Jennifer Bosveld, Pudding House Publications
"We graduated from high school, both of us in the bottom half of our class, and barely got into college together, the state university, the only place two working class kids with lousy grades even considered. We got in because of our test scores and because any state resident who remotely qualified was admitted. We commuted of course, no money for a dorm. And our grades were lousy. At the end of freshman year, we almost flunked out together: Doc did, and I would have, except I cheated on our science final and got a D instead of an F. He could have cheated too but didn't. And so, because of his honesty, because he played it ramrod straight, Doc was bounced out of college and into the army." --from "Two Letters from the Doctor," in "Lefty" and Other Stories
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