Toccata & Fugue

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Author: Timothy Kelly, Winner of the 2005 Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Competition
Year: 2005
ISBN: 1-930446-11-X
Pages: 40


Timothy Kelly was born and educated in northern Ohio. He received his MFA from Boston University, and his MPT (physical therapy) degree from the University of Washington. His first book, Articulation, was published by Lynx House Press in 1993; his second, Stronger, won the FIELD Poetry Prize and was published by Oberlin College Press in 2000. His poems, which reflect an abiding interest in the movement, structure, and beauty of the human body, have appeared in The Iowa Review, Crab Creek Review, and other journals. He works in Olympia, Washington, as a physical therapist, teaches periodically at the Evergreen State College, and is married and the father of two teenage boys. He spends his spare time swimming, gardening, doing yoga and the laundry, and arguing about whose turn it is to mow the lawn.

Toccata & Fugue takes us on a tour of the body — that ‘slab of gristle, jar of clay’ — celebrating its capacity to heal, while at the same time acknowledging the raw fact of pain. Kelly’s poems build their graceful structures from his work as a therapist, manipulating ‘the hard things / at the center of each lasting story, luminous, / resonating, strangely articulated, true.’” —Lucia Perillo

“I know of no one else with such command of, and feeling for, the language of physiological particulars that he can make it sing, even in the most clinically precise usages. The foot, the tongue, the spine, in all their precious and mechanical inevitability, are made beautiful by dint of Kelly’s enormous affection and faultless ear. There is deep mystery (and wonder) in the body’s flex and stillness, and in this stunning sequence Tim Kelly offers it to us with both hands.” —Christopher Howell