cover of book
by Liam Rector
University of Chicago Press, 2006
Cloth: 978-0-226-70604-7
Library of Congress Classification PS3568.E29E96 2006
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.54


The Worry of the Far Right

The Reverend Donald Wildmon, executive director

Of the American Family Association in Tupelo,

Mississippi, birthplace of Elvis Presley, he who

Unleashed the libido of a generation, announced today

That he, the Reverend, wanted again an America

In which he could drive his convertible into town,

Park it, leave his keys in the ignition,

And worry only that it might rain,

Rather than worry about Liam Rector.

 America—you are on notice. Liam Rector has little patience for “sincere” poetry, spin-doctored politicos, or moral hot air of any kind. The titles of these poems could easily serve as their own warning labels: those with clinical depression or easily triggered violent tendencies should use with caution. 

The Executive Director of the Fallen World is fearless and forthright, just the sort of blunt reality check that is missing from so much of contemporary, over-stylized poetry. Rector’s stoicism and slightly murderous sense of humor pervade these poems as he doffs his hat to humility and audacity, taking on America, money, movement, marriages, and general cultural mayhem. The characters and voices in Rector’s poems are, by tragic turns, unflinching, clearly and cleanly bitter, sarcastically East Coast, and lyrical.  Writing in tercets throughout, the poet breathes new life into this classic form with skill that might just send some unsuspecting readers over the edge. 

As the former executive director of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and a spirited First Amendment advocate who has sparred on screen with Bill O’Reilly, Liam Rector knows whereof he speaks in The Executive Director of the Fallen World.

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