Sanctus Sanctus Dirgha Sanctus: Four Monostitch Sestinas

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Sanctus Sanctus Dirgha Sanctus: Four Monostitch Sestinas
Author: Desmond Kon
Publish: 2014
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9789810923471
Pages: 167
Language: English

Sanctus Sanctus Dirgha Sanctus: Four Monostitch Sestinas

Rating:
3.0 rating
Synopsis:

Several things about this book suggest a medieval manuscript – not literally of course, for this is a publication designed for a twenty-first century world – but in the sense of it being precious, valued, holy and unique. The title, which translates as Holy, Holy, For a Long Time Holy emphasizes this mood as does the epigraph by Allen Ginsberg. An essential part of the atmosphere is enhanced by the quality of the actual publication itself – fine paper, black and white geometric designs, the luxury of a single line per page, the cover with the rising/falling bird.

Plenty has been written about the constrictions of the Sestina form. The demands of its pattern together with the accompanying anxieties and pitfalls involved in finding six words that repeat and develop the overall piece, are well recorded. By focusing on the single line Desmond Kon has freed the sestina from the grip of its rules. Here the pattern is dispersed – or rather it remains the underlying pulse, the energy behind the language, but no longer obviously so. In this author’s hands it is ‘not bottled’.

Each of the four sestinas addresses a different person or thing. Each has its own motifs, references and moods. Together they offer an impression of paths on a journey, words and symbols which deconstruct, musical notes that digress in improvisation but always return to the theme.

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Author Details:

Desmond Kon is the author of an epistolary novel, a quasi-memoir, two lyric essay monographs, four hybrid works, and nine poetry collections. A former journalist, he has edited more than twenty books and co-produced three audio books, several pro bono for non-profit organizations.

Trained in book publishing at Stanford University, Desmond studied sociology and mass communication at the National University of Singapore, and later received his Masters in theology (world religions) from Harvard University and Masters in fine arts (creative writing) from the University of Notre Dame.

In addition to grants from the National Arts Council and Singapore International Foundation, Desmond has enjoyed literary appointments at the Notre Dame Poetry Fellowship, NAC Writer-in-the-Gardens Residency, and NTU-NAC Creative Writing Residency.
Among other accolades, Desmond is the recipient of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award, Independent Publisher Book Award, National Indie Excellence Book Award, Poetry World Cup, Singapore Literature Prize, two Beverly Hills International Book Awards, and three Living Now Book Awards.

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