King Vulture


Poems by K.E. Duffin
978-1-55728-785-4 (paper)
February 2005


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This stunning collection heralds the debut of a most gifted poet, one who turns to the formal traditions of the past to celebrate and elegize our vast and transient world in which human stories—tragedies and triumphs—are invariably bound up with nature. K. E. Duffin’s poems are about transformations, from life to death and from death to life, from the sprawl of experience to the spare music of the poem that can reach the future only through memory. These are poems that court the ear and eye alike. They surprise us with their elegant forms and rich, classical themes; they delight us with their force of language and delicious renderings of the vast complications of things.

K. E. Duffin is a painter and print-maker who finds inspiration in the art of the ancient world. She graduated from Harvard University and attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Her poems have appeared in a number of journals, including Poetry, Partisan Review, Ploughshares, Verse, and the Sewanee Review. She has been a finalist for the National Poetry Series, the Walt Whitman Award, and the Colorado Prize. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

“[E]ven those without paranormal powers can reasonably speculate that K. E. Duffin will be among the poets most discussed over the next couple of decades.”
—Alfred Corn, author of Stake: Poems, 1972–1992

“In her many sonnets and rhymed quatrains, Duffin makes the old forms sing with a baroque splendor as she travels from New England to Siberia, Naples to Yucatan, Iceland to Jersey. . . . With the eyes of a naturalist and a traditionalist, Duffin’s high-flying persona ‘drifts in and out of worlds.’ As readers, we can only stand below and watch the poetic flights with admiration and awe.”
—Henry Hart, author of The Rooster Mask