Leo Connellan Poems

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Leo Connellan
Leo Connellan (November 30, 1928 February 22, 2001) was an American poet born near Portland, Maine. He grew up in Rockland, Maine, and lived at the time of his death in Sprague, Connecticut. Connellan's rough, "everyman" lyricism won him the admiration of such poet-critics as Karl Shapiro, Robert Penn Warren, Richard Eberhart, Richard Wilbur, David B. Axelrod and other major voices of the twentieth century. Connellan won the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America and served as Connecticut's second Poet Laureate from 1996 until his death. From 1987 until the time of his death, he was poet-in-residence for the University of Connecticut system, and had received an honorary doctorate from the University of Maine. He was officially designated one of Maine's most prominent poets in the Maine Literary Hall of Fame. The fishing and lobstering industries in Maine, personal battles with the bottle and unresolved conflicts from childhood served as subjects for his work. Exhibiting a rough, and at times, almost telegraphic style of clipped demotic, with the addition of metaphors that sometimes worked and sometimes didn't, Connellan's long poems are vibrant evocations of life in an outsider's America where death is omnipresent, and loading beer cans into freight cars or picking up a quick job as a fry cook could get you enough money for a night's flop in a skid row hotel.

tell her that i fell
Woke me retching and alone.
Within doom booze
her arms around me again
in wished-for ... [read poem]
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