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Lawrence Raab - Mistaking Each Other For Ghosts
I n the opening pages of Lawrence Raab’s eighth book of poems, “Mistaking Each Other For Ghosts,” there’s an uneasy lyric from the band Radiohead: “Just because you feel it doesn’t mean it’s there.” Raab’s art is the unique ability to deliver us there, and then question our arrival. “I am fascinated by the poem that lures us into recognizing we must change our minds,” he says, “as well as the poem that creates a moment when something is felt before it is understood, or perhaps felt but never understood.”
Raab’s previous book, “The History of Forgetting,” is considered his most personal and searching work, with bursts of feeling, wild imagination and clarity. In both books, mortality is a central theme, but Raab’s humor and tender touch mitigate the journey, and his self-questioning perspective taps a nerve in all of us.
Lawrence Raab teaches literature and writing at Williams College. “Mistaking Each Other for Ghosts” was longlisted for the National Book Award and named as one of the Ten Best Poetry Books of 2015 by The New York Times. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Council on the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation.
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