Randall Mann is the author of five poetry collections, most recently A Better Life, published in April 2021 by Persea Books, as well as a book of criticism, The Illusion of Intimacy: On Poetry (Diode Editions, 2019). His recent work has been published in The Adroit Journal, Asian American Literary Review, jubilat, Lit Hub, Poem-A-Day, and elsewhere. The recipient of awards from the Poetry Foundation and The Kenyon Review, and a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, he lives in San Francisco.
Photo Courtesy of Josh Koll, Photographer
The Illusion of Intimacy: On Poetry
The Illusion of Intimacy: On Poetry brings Randall Mann’s characteristic wit, fearlessness, and attention to language, to twenty years of critical works, including reviews of early books by Laura Kasischke and Vijay Seshadri; essays on Shame, Money, and Forgetting; appreciations of Thom Gunn and John Ashbery; and two interviews. This incisive collection—a combination of criticism, close reading, autobiography, exuberance, and occasional irritation—offers a look into the mind of one of America’s finest formalists, revealing how the compression and vulnerability of the lyric draws us closer to, while asking us to resist, the limitations, freedoms, and intimacies of poetry.