I am honoured and touched by your email. Thank you! I have spent a lot of time with your father's work. Finding a rare edition of his books here and there, I always feel like I am landing upon some hidden treasure. I believe strongly that your father's work needs more critical attention, that he is one of the greatest 20th century poets I have come across. I would be honoured to have any part in celebrating his life and work. Cheers and best wishes to you and yours.
Two years ago, I was introduced to the beautiful, delicate poems of Frank Samperi by Elizabeth Robinson. I have spent the time since acquiring rare, out-of-print editions of his books and learning as much as I can about this poet whose work, though abundant and original, is largely unknown.
This seems to be changing due in large part to the work of his daughter, Claudia, who started a blog devoted to her father's life and work. There are also two wonderful essays on Samperi's work available online by Peter O'Leary and J. Townsend. This past week, PennSound launched Frank Samperi's author page featuring a recording of Samperi reading in 1987 and pdf versions of four of his out-of-print collections.
I find something incredibly beautiful, earnest and sustaining in efforts like these to rescue a singular voice from obscurity. Recoveries, rediscoveries of this kind make contemporary poetry the vibrant and diverse creature that it is, and I applaud and thank all those involved in bringing Frank Samperi back into the world.
Wonderful to hear from you. You may not remember it, but I used to see you with your father and mother on 14th St. I live on East 18th, and we were neighbors and shared the same post office. Anyway, I hope this finds you well and in good spirits.
And that's wonderful news re. Frank's books being reissued. I have the old Grossman editions, much thumbed and reread.
Small world dept. Yes, we saw Frank now and then, and knew his work, and one of his great fans, Cid Corman was also a close friend and correspondent with me.
Lucky you, in Santa Monica, one of the great spots to live. I'm still in your old neighborhood, with its grime and graffiti.