The Secret Gospel of Mark: A Poet's Memoir
Spencer Reece (Author)
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DescriptionAn exquisite memoir of a life saved by poetry. This is a portrait of the artist, narrated by a priest and a poet and a gay man with tenderness and searing honesty. Spencer Reece weaves the poetry he loves into how he has lived, the poetry as solace and relief, as confirmation and rescue, as redemption. --Colm Toíbín The Secret Gospel of Mark is a powerful dynamo of a story that delicately weaves the author's experiences with an appreciation for seven great literary touchstones: Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson, James Merrill, Mark Strand, George Herbert, and Gerard Manley Hopkins. In speaking to the beauty these poets' works inspire in him, Reece finds the beauty of his own life's journey, a path that runs from coming of age as a gay teenager in the 1980s, Yale, alcoholism, a long stint as a Brooks Brothers salesman, Harvard Divinity School, and leads finally to hard-won success as a poet, reconciliation with his family, and the fulfillment of finding his life's work as an Episcopal priest. Reece's writing approaches the truth and beauty of the writers who have influenced him; elliptical and direct, always beautifully rendered.
Seven Stories Press
March 16, 2021
5.6 X 8.3 X 1.5 inches | 1.1 pounds
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About the Author
Spencer Reece's first published book of poetry, The Clerk's Tale, was selected from the slush pile by Louise Glück as the winner of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Bakeless Prize and published by Houghton Mifflin in 2004. The titular poem was adapted into a short film by James Franco in 2010. Reece is also the author of the poetry collection The Road to Emmaus, published by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux in 2014, a finalist for the Griffin Prize and longlisted for the National Book Award. He is the recipient of a Whiting Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. For several years he lived in Madrid, where he was the national secretary to the Episcopal bishop of Spain. He currently lives in Queens, NY, where he took over a parish when their priest died of Covid-19.