Marvin Bell

About The Book of the Dead Man:

I wrote the first of the "dead man poems" in Port Townsend, Washington during the winter of 1986-87. I called it "from: The Book of the Dead Man" though there was no such book. Nor did I plan to write another poem like the first. I put it in the book titled Iris of Creation (1990) and walked away. It would be four years between the first and second dead man poems.

The Book of the Dead Man appeared in 1994 and contained the first thirty-three dead man poems. As I write this on February 11, 1996, a second book of forty-two dead man poems is nearly complete and will likely finish the project. The poems in Book One appear in the order in which they were completed, though others were begun and abandoned. For Book Two, the poems will have been reordered and renumbered.

The Book of the Dead Man began with a Preface.


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