Herbert Gold and Ari Gold, "Father Verses Sons: A Correspondence in Poems" (Rare Bird Books, 2024)


Father Verses Sons: A Correspondence in Poems (Rare Bird, 2024). When the global pandemic forced his ninety-six-year-old father into isolation, filmmaker Ari Gold became concerned that loneliness would kill his father's spirits. As a prolific novelist who began writing in his twenties, Herbert Gold's incredible oeuvre included twenty-four novels, five collections of stories and essays, and eight nonfiction books. So, Ari mailed his father a poem, asking for one in return. Later, Ari's twin brother, Ethan, also got into the game. Thus was launched a lifesaving literary correspondence, and a testament to the bonds of family. The resulting poems are playful, honest, funny, and moving. Secrets are invoked alongside personal - and often painful - history. Ari and Ethan's mother, Herbert Gold's second wife, died in a helicopter crash alongside the famous rock promoter and impresario Phil Graham in 1991. Her ghost roams through the poems and the wonderful archival photos included in full color throughout. In Father Verses Sons, a lushly illustrated "correspondence in poems," ranges across the life, family, and death of a remarkable father. The father and his sons write tenderly of their hunger for connection, about the woman that all three men have lost (a mother, a wife), and about the passion that all three seek. Ultimately, these poems tell a singular story of men bumbling their way towards love.

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Rebekah Buchanan

Rebekah Buchanan is a Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music.

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