cover image Theory of Devolution

Theory of Devolution

David Groff. University of Illinois Press, $30 (104pp) ISBN 978-0-252-02779-6

""He wonders if they were lovers. Did the lovers burn?"" These and other questions about gay men in America just before and during the age of AIDS animate the passionately descriptive and often elegiac poems of David Groff's Theory of Devolution, selected for this year's National Poetry Series by Mark Doty. Doty's own admirers will surely warm to Groff's accomplishments, which include evocations of Manhattan, Fire Island and rural America; high-powered recollections of the party circuit; well-placed activist slogans; and movingly personal, erotic memorials to an ""always-dying particular man."" Groff helped found the Publishing Triangle, an association of book-business lesbians and gay men.