Tom Andrews (poet)

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Tom Andrews (April 30, 1961 – July 18, 2001) was an American poet and critic.

Life[edit]

Thomas Chester Andrews grew up in Charleston, West Virginia.[1] He got into the Guinness World Records at the age of eleven by clapping for fourteen hours and thirty one minutes. He had dreams of being a stand up comedian. He raced motocross as a teenager, but he stopped when he found out he had hemophilia. He had a major accident on an icy sidewalk that put him in the hospital for many weeks.

He worked as a copy editor for "Mathematical Review," a bibliographic journal for mathematicians, physicists, statisticians, logicians, historians, and philosophers of mathematics.

While he is best known for his poetry, he also wrote criticism and a memoir, Codeine Diary: True Confessions of a Reckless Hemophiliac.

Education[edit]

Andrews graduated from Hope College (Summa Cum Laude) in 1984, spending second semester of his senior year at Oberlin College as an intern for FIELD (magazine).[2] In 1987 he graduated from the University of Virginia with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing.

Poetry[edit]

Poet and critic Lisa Russ Spaar has called Tom Andrews "One of the great stylists — and one of the best, and under-known, poets — of the past 20 years." [3] His collection, The Hemophiliac's Motorcycle, is available online for free through the University of Iowa Press.[4]

Some scholars have examined his work through the lens of disability; as a hemophiliac, much of his poetry seems concerned with the body as spectacle, in its achievements as well as its limitations. As professor Susannah Mintz puts it in her article Lyric Bodies: Poets on Disability and Masculinity, published in PMLA in March 2012, "the speaker [of the title poem in The Hemophiliac's Motorcycle] presents himself as paradoxical: at risk and highly skilled, competitive and communal, worthy of respect for his talent and potentially feared or derided for the strange behavior of so metaphorically charged a substance as his blood."[5]

Personal life[edit]

Andrews married Carrie Garlinghouse in the late 1980s. They divorced in 1993.

At the time of his death, Andrews was engaged to Alice B. Paterakis of Athens, Greece, whom he had met at the American Academy in Rome, where both had been fellows.[6] They were to be married the week before he died.[7]

Death[edit]

Andrews died in a London hospital on July 18, 2001, as a result of complications from thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a rare blood disease.[8] He was forty years old.

He was buried in Kirkland Memorial Gardens in Mason County, West Virginia.[9]

Praise for Tom Andrews[edit]

Poet Jean Valentine said "He is a true poet, loving, tough, ecstatic."

Guy Davenport, one of the country's most powerful critics, said "These are not poems about illness. They are about the dominion of the spirit when it is rich in imagination and courage."

Awards[edit]

Works[edit]

Poetry[edit]

Criticism[edit]

Memoir[edit]

  • Codeine Diary: True Confessions of a Reckless Hemophiliac. Little, Brown. 1998. ISBN 978-0-316-04244-4. 

Anthology[edit]

  • Billy Collins, ed. (2003). Poetry 180: a turning back to poetry. Random House, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8129-6887-3. 
  • Charles Wright; David Lehman, eds. (2008). The Best American Poetry 2008. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-9975-6. 
  • A. R. Ammons; David Lehman, eds. (1994). The Best American Poetry 1994. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-89948-6. 
  • Jennifer Bartlett; Shelia Black; Michael Northern, eds. (2011). Beauty Is A Verb The New Poetry of Disability. Cinco Puntos. ISBN 978-1-935955-05-4. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]