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Sharon Doubiago’s writing is fluid, unpredictable, and never stops giving. All the old songs sound new, and the lines between past, present and future dissolve in a rush of pleasure and sensual delight. The world is imperfect and in need of repair and she takes nothing for granted. My Beard reminds me most of Denis Johnson’s Jesus’s Son—and the absence of closure is a source of both joy and despair. She is in unchartered waters, but the rules of the game are her own.
I was amazed by her reading. This whole soul came out and in detail and quite complete. She’s very conscious. She sounds like Kerouac or someone, like really good. The energy but it’s more the details, precise details. Doubiago sees things, she notices things in the middle of these crisis moments.
Doubiago’s My Beard is an essential book, essential to her body of work, essential to her on-going story, and just as essential for its outsider’s account of the insider literary scenes of our time. I wonder how many great American poets could write THIS story, a story of mothering the sports star and the return of the ex-wife to the town of the marriage … Doubiago is at turns the poet (check out the detail of Max’s hands) and Lucia Berlin hard-reality story writer. Let’s attribute accomplishment to her projective verse poet’s eye and her talent for narrative.
I was mesmerized by “Fornography.” I’m not quiet sure why. The evocation of a familiar scene from long ago. The tensions around love and gender. The precariousness of your life. Like everything you do, it’s raw and challenging, pushing everything of lighter weight out of the way. You’re a fearless writer, and yet there is just below the surface the greatest tenderness, the greatest desire not to engage but to be at peace.”
Sharon Doubiago is the author of eleven collections of award-winning poetry, including the recent Naked to the Earth. Psyche Drives the Coast won the Oregon Book Award for Poetry. She’s a recipient of three Pushcart Prizes, two Oregon Literary Arts Fellowships, and is a National Book Award nominee. She’s written four book-length poems, Hard Country, South America Mi Hija, The Husband Arcane The Arcane of O and The Visit. Her four award-winning memoirs are The Book of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes, El Nino, My Father’s Love, Vols 1 &2. My Beard is memoir in the form of individual stories rather than the on-going narrative of traditional memoir. She lives in North Beach, San Francisco.