John Ashbery has written of Tony Towle's poetry as "one of the New York School's best-kept secrets." Towle's memoirs take the form of fast-paced prose recollections of odd events and sometimes-odder characters that shaped and structured his first days as a poet during the early years of the New York School 'before anyone was famous.' Towle traces his initiation into poetry and the downtown art world, relating his thrills, frustrations and peculiarly memorable interactions with a number of live-wire figures key to his own development, including Frank O'Hara, Kenneth Koch, Frank Lima, Ted Berrigan, and many others.

"Over the past few decades, Tony Towle has displayed both mild and severe symptoms of an enchanting form of verbal insanity ... The voice is unmistakably Towle's -- smart and sly, sure to disarm and delight." -- Billy Collins, on Tony Towle's Selected Poems, The History of the Invitation.


Faux Press, 2001, 104 pages, $12.50
ISBN 0-9710371-2-4

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