Gregory Orr is an award-winning poet who is also a professor of English at the University of Virginia and poetry editor at Virginia Quarterly Review —apparently not enough of a platform, however, to make his memoir, Cain Continuing, an easy sell for his agent, Andrew Blauner. It is the startling story of a rural childhood in which Orr killed a younger brother in a hunting accident, only to learn his father had had a similar experience in his own childhood, and the efforts of both to survive these disasters. According to Blauner, the book was "seen and lauded by just about every possible division of every New York publishing house," but in the end, the sale was to editor-in-chief Kevin Bentley at little Council Oaks Books in San Francisco. So 2002 will be a bumper year for Orr, as his Three Strange Angels, about the poetic transformation of trauma, will be appearing from the University of Georgia Press, also sold by Blauner, and his unagented New & Selected Poems will be out from Copper Canyon. Sometimes poetry is an easier sell.
Volume 248 Issue 29 07/16/2001