In The Shadowgraph James Cihlar explores the ways images, performances, and memories shape and inform LGBTQ+ identity. Golden-age Hollywood cinema--in particular the career of fiercely independent actress Barbara Stanwyck--provides the screen on which Cihlar projects characters and stories bravely, even defiantly, performed. Cihlar's commentary on individual films--as well as on human experience and desire--is intense, smart, and right on target.
Cihlar twines intriguingly into and out of the movies, probing them for pathos and comedy, opposites and doubles. . . . Pop culture meets pathos in The Shadowgraph, a stirring paean to movie idols who flicker across the screen and sometimes show up in the mirror.'--Claude Peck, The Gay & Lesbian Review
In the tradition of books exploring American life through film, the cruelties of family life, and the experience of being gay in contemporary culture, The Shadowgraph is a glorious collection of poems! Cihlar arrives in full voice that simply stands larger and fresher with each poem. Each one is satisfying, original, and honest.'--Jonis Agee, author of The River Wife: A Novel
The Shadowgraph offers graceful and intelligent meditations on the vagaries of memory, film, family history, and emerging gender, sexual, and personal identity. Deftly weaving Hollywood glamour with recollections of his own past, Cihlar explores the ways memory and film work to reconstruct (or recreate) our lived and imagined events. This is a very fine, technically dexterous, moving collection of poems.'--Kevin Prufer, author of How He Loved Them
Jim Cihlar's The Shadowgraph presents a love song to the ways a person desperate for kinship can find a surprising lifeline in the filmography of actress Barbara Stanwyck, a star casting a well-defined shadow for LGBTQ Americans even in the era of Hollywood's 'lavender marriage.''--Eric Gansworth, author of A Half-Life of Cardio-Pulmonary Function: Poems and Paintings
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