Tag Archives: Hugh Kenner

What is being said about Gail King

Gail King lives in a shed and has been getting away with murder for years.  This can be explained in part by quoting Hugh Kenner who said “American genius (in literature) cannot be distinguished by a casual glance from charlatanry. Purity of intention lies at the heart of American achievement.”  

Of her recent book of poems, Hello Life, Keith Kumasen Abbott, professor emeritus and author of numerous books of poetry, prose, and non-fiction, including Downstream from Trout Fishing In America, a Memoir, says In Hello Life Gail King often uses sleight of hand as she guides readers into a scene, a mood, a spiral, then disappears while events continue for us alone. Her art is beguiling, comic, candid and a pleasure.” 

Maureen Owen, former artistic director for The Poetry Project in NYC and author of many books of poems, including Edges of Water and Erosion’s Pull, says In Gail King’s poems the events of the day become transformative, the images of the temporary become immediate, and the mystery of being alive in the Now unfolds. “…time like a lake breeze” says the poet, and the wind rises.”

Gail King’s previous book of poems, Boxes & Chair (What Leaf Press, 2006) won the praise of Andrei Codrescu, poet, novelist, essayist and NPR commentator, author of So Recent Rent A World, who said “Reading Gail King has always been one of my great poetry pleasures. Her inimitable voice narrates the world with humor and tenderness, a world of beauty and occasional sorrow. Her work has healing effects.”

Joanne Kyger, author of more than twenty books of poetry and prose, including About Now: Collected Poems, and recipient of the 2008 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles National Literary Award for Poetry said of Boxes & Chairs “. . .a lovely lovely book. . .with direct beauty of what actually happens. [The poems] are all about SOMETHING, not just states of mind mired in ‘language’.”

Gail King, a Bay Area native, has lived in the Northern California town of Monte Rio for over 40 years. She has written poetry all her adult life and was the publisher of Doris Green Editions, a small literary press active in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s.  Boxes & Chairs, her third selection of poems, was published by What Leaf Press in 2006. Many of the poems featured in that selection are included in Hello Life.




December 2013  ~  $16.00  ~  64 pages ~ Paper  ~  ISBN 978-0-9840310-3-0

 now available from
Nualláin House, Publishers
Box 798 Monte Rio,California, 95462
(free shipping through December 31st, 2013)