Jack Veasey: The Dance That Begins and Begins
Pennsylvania poet Jack Veasey (1955-2016) has here selected from four decades of his writing, an intense and affecting summation of his poetry so far. Complementing his 2013 collection of more formal poems, this wide-ranging volume thrusts the reader into the inherent sense that every poet has, from childhood, of "not being like the others." As a gay poet and journalist living through the tumultuous decades of gay liberation and beyond, Veasey shows how, in so many ways, understanding is not yet won. Yet there are many small triumphs in the gorgeous language and the poems' arrived-at wisdom. Ian Young writes: "The publication of The Dance That Begins and Begins, Jack Veasey's twelfth book, should signal his recognition as one of America's best poets. Veasey never stands apart to poeticize, but is walways right there in the thick of things, vulnerable, compassionate, and strong. Adept, accessible, utterly authentic, these poems have heart, soul, moral authority, and the quiet assurance of a major poet at the height of his powers."
A 2010 nominee for a Pushcart Prize, Jack Veasey was a Philadelphia native who lived in Hummelstown, PA for over 20 years. He was the author of eleven previous published collections of poetry, most recently Shapely: Selected Formal Poems (2013). His poems have also appeared in many periodicals including Christopher Street, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, Assaracus, Harbinger: A Journal of Social Ecology, The Philadelphia Daily News, The Painted Bride Quarterly, Fledgling Rag, Oxalis, The Blue Guitar, Bone and Flesh, Zone: A Feminist Journal for Women and Men, Film Library Quarterly (Museum of Modern Art, NYC), Experimental Forest, Tabula Rasa, Wild Onions, Mouth of the Dragon, Asphodel, Insight, The Irish Edition, The Harrisburg Patriot-News, The Harrisburg Review, The Princeton Spectrum, The Little Word Machine (U.K.), and The Body Politic (Canada), among others. His poems have also appeared in a number of anthologies. Veasey spent the seventies and eighties working as a journalist for such publications as The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine, Pennsylvania Magazine, APPRISE, The Philadelphia City Paper, and The Cherry Hill Courier Post, and editing a number of periodicals in Philadelphia and New York, including The South St. Star, The Philadelphia Gay News, and FirstHand Magazine. His articles for the Philadelphia Gay News won two awards from the national Lesbian and Gay Press Association. His first poetry chapbook, Handful of Hair, was published by The Poet's Press in 1975.