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Reginald Shepherd, 1963-2008

12/09/2008

In common with many in the poetry blogosphere, I was shocked and sadened to read that the American poet, critic and blogger Reginald Shepherd died this week, aged only 45. The news came to me through Ron Silliman‘s blog, which is fitting, as it was a link from a post of his that first took me to Shepherd’s blog.

Shepherd blogged with clarity, warmth and intelligence, always at length. The post of his that first alerted me to the quality of his reflection was his superb post On Difficulty in Poetry: a revision. Not the grinding, pointless, tiresome polemic about “accessibility” vs “difficulty” one often hears, just real thinking and insight.

I can’t improve on or add to the tributes to him by other bloggers, some of whom knew him other than through this peculiar, wonderful, infuriating medium, to which he brought a great deal of sanity. Read them, but be sure to read his writing.

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