Garrison Keillor reads (or sings) all the poems in the book on two CDs inside, with music by Rich Dworsky
Garrison Keillor tells: ‘When I was 16, Helen Fleischman assigned me to memorise Shakespeare’s Sonnet No. 29, “When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes, I all alone beweep my outcast state” for English class, and fifty years later, that poem is still in my head. Algebra got washed away, and geometry and most of biology, but those lines about the redemptive power of love in the face of shame are still here behind my eyeballs, more permanent than my own teeth. The sonnet is a durable good. These 77 of mine include sonnets of praise, some erotic, some lamentations, some street sonnets and a 12-sonnet cycle of months. If anything here offends, I beg your pardon, I come in peace, I depart in gratitude.’
‘If you’ve occasionally wished that the news from Lake Wobegon contained more erotic poetry – and really, who hasn’t? – then you’ll want to get your hands on Garrison Keillor’s 77 Love Sonnets… Keillor’s original poems of courtship, heartbreak and frank carnal desire, all of it well suited to the author’s folksy, avuncular voice’ – New York Times.
‘The book proves that the sonnet is still alive and kicking. Keillor enlarges our sense of what the old 14-liner can do… After years as a poetry impresario, Garrison Keillor has blown his cover. It won’t be possible to think of him anymore as only an engaging radio personality, a diverting humorist, an able novelist, essayist and political commentator, a friend of other people’s verse, but as a poet of force and originality himself, a fresh and yet familiar voice to be reckoned with’ – X.J. Kennedy, Contemporary Poetry Review.