Kevin Stein is a poet and critic and the author of James Wright: The Poetry of a Grown Man (Ohio University Press, 1988) and Private Poets, Wordly Acts (Ohio University Press, 1996). He teaches at Bradley University.
Listed in: Poetry · Literary Criticism, US · Literary Criticism, Poetry · American Literature · Literary Criticism · Ohio and Regional · Literary Studies
At a time when poets appear tragically detached from the public for which they write, Kevin Stein persuasively demonstrates in Private Poets, Worldy Acts the way a particular group of diverse poets have manifested their communal concerns. As Choice wrote, “Stein’s graceful text is a primer on the relationship of the (American) poetic to the political.”
“No doubt because Stein is both poet and critic, his study is readable, vivid, unclotted, and written with flair and fluidity.”
Although some critics have identified two phases in the poetry of James Wright and have isolated particulars of his movement from traditional to more experimental forms, few have noted also the elements of constancy in the evolution of his poetry.
“The poetry of James Wright displays a shift over time that reflects a dissatisfaction with once-held values, resulting in a search for new forms of expression. Apart from the essay-collection The Pure Clear Word, however, there has been no adequate full-length study of Wright's career as a poet. Kevin Stein's volume admirably fills that lack by accounting for what amounts to a re-definition of the poetic self.”