A I D S B O O K R E V I E W J O U R N A L No. 38

AIDS BOOK REVIEW JOURNAL

University of Illinois at Chicago

H. Robert Malinowsky

Editor

ISSN 1068-4174

Number 38-September, 1997


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NOTE: There was no issue for August, 1997.

726. Music at the Edge: The Music Therapy Experiences of a Musician with AIDS, by Colin Lee.
727. Sexual Interactions and HIV Risk: New Conceptual Perspectives in European Research, edited by Luc Van Campenhoudt, Mitchell Cohen, Gustavo Guizzardi, Dominique Hausser.
728. Rights of People Who Are HIV Positive: The Authoritative ACLU Guide to the Rights of People Living with HIV Disease and AIDS, by William B. Rubenstein, Ruth Eisenberg, Lawrence O. Gostin.
729. Practicing Desire: Homosexual Sex in the Era of AIDS, by Gary W. Dowsett.
730. Intimate Death: How the Dying Teach Us How to Live, by Marie de Hennezel.
731. Nurses Drug Guide 1997, by Billie Ann Wilson, Margaret T. Shannon, Carolyn L. Stang.
732. AIDS Cult: Essays on the Gay Health Crisis, edited by John Lauritsen, Ian Young.
733. Intimate Details and Vital Statistics: AIDS, Sexuality and the Social Order in New Zealand, edited by Peter Davis.
734. Ten Best Tools to Boost Your Immune System, by Elinor Levy, Tom Monte.
735. Dream of Order, by Thomas Avena.
736. Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge, by Steven Epstein.
737. Things Shaped in Passing: More "Poets for Life" Writing from the AIDS Pandemic, edited by Michael Klein, Richard McCann.

726. Music at the Edge: The Music Therapy Experiences of a Musician with AIDS, by Colin Lee. 1996. Routledge, 29 West 35th St., New York, NY 10001-2299. 171p., 1 CD, bibliog., index. ISBN 0-415-12463-8, 0-415-12464-6pbk. $60.00, $19.95pbk. (Descriptors: Music Therapy, Palliative Treatment, Case Studies)

"This unusual and very moving book offers anyone who is working with, or facing, illness and death an opportunity to understand how the transcendent power of music can enable expression of feelings more accurately than words." This book is a case study on music therapy. It allows the reader the opportunity to experience a complete music therapy journey through the words of a therapist who worked with a musician who had AIDS and died of AIDS. The story centers around Francis, a gifted pianist of middle age, with AIDS, and his therapist, Colin Lee. The result of this extraordinary book is an account in music and words. It is a unique book that explains and explores how music helped Francis in "his piloting journey of reconciliation and transformation toward the inevitability of death."

Through the words of Colin Lee the reader is able to experience the stress and confusion that arose out of the therapeutic sessions. "He describes the anguish of being so deeply involved in the dying process of an intensely living man, and intimates that it is necessary for therapists who are creative artists to acknowledge that the very nature of their work and sensitivities predisposes them to hurt and distress, anxiety and uncertainty." Through the recorded sessions on the CD one is able to follow the therapy, stage by stage. The recorded sessions are then complimented by the narrative which helps one to understand just how strong music therapy can be. This is a landmark book for music therapists, anyone working in the healing services, and for all musicians who cherish music. "Even more, it is a profound testament to the integrity and indomitable potential of the human spirit. It touches on everyone's life." A highly recommended book for everyone who works in the area of music therapy and a recommended book for all academic and medical libraries.

727. Sexual Interactions and HIV Risk: New Conceptual Perspectives in European Research, edited by Luc Van Campenhoudt, Mitchell Cohen, Gustavo Guizzardi, Dominique Hausser. 1997. Taylor & Francis, 1900 Frost Road, Ste. 101, Bristol, PA 19007-1598. 266p., bibliog., index. (Social Aspects of AIDS). ISBN 0-7484-0345-0, 0-7484-0356-9pbk. $79.00, $24.95pbk. (Descriptors: Social Aspects, Risk, Sexual Interaction, Prevention) (Contributors: Demosthenes Agrafiotis, Heinrich W. Ahlemeyer, Benoit Bastard, Laura Cardia-Voneche, Mitchell Cohen, Fred Deven, Alexis Ferrand, Gustavo Guizzardi, Dominique Hausser, Michel Hubert, Roger Ingham, Dominique Ludwig, Philip Meredith, Jean-Paul Moatti, Daniele Peto, Jean Remy, Tom A. B. Snijders, Renato Stella, Luc Van Campenhoudt, Gertjan van Zessen)

Research on the nature of sexual intercourse and the transmission of AIDS through unprotected sex has been difficult to say the least. Theories are put forth and theories are put down, resulting in many of the practitioners being very wary of what has resulted from the research. One reason that some of these theories are not valid is that "many existing frameworks by which sexual interaction are analysed and made sense of are overly simple." The contributors to this book have looked at new ways of understanding the various sexual relationships, "including the role of power, emotion, meaning, time and risk-taking, among other variables, in structuring sexual interaction, and in affecting HIV-related risks."

The book is an outgrowth of a European Concerted Action on Sexual Behaviour and Risks of HIV Infection, a 4-year research project which was coordinated by the Centre d'etudes sociologiques of Facultes universitaires Saint-Louis, in Brussels. The first section, "Sexual Interaction and Risk-related Behaviour," covers: "Social Networks and Normative Tensions," "Norms of Communication and Communication as a Norm in the Intimate Social System," "Relationships between Sexual Partners and Ways of Adapting to the Risk of AIDS," and "Interaction and Risk-related Behaviour." These four papers conceptualize interactions between sexual partners and make suggestions for prevention based on partner interactions within the cultural norms. Part 2, "From Individual to Interaction," covers: "From Individual Properties to Interactional Processes," "Understanding HIV Risk-related Behaviour," and "From Rational Individual to Actor Ensnared in a Web of Affective and Sexual Relationships." These papers provide a critical discussion of individual-oriented perspectives that were presented in the first part.

Part 3, "Interaction and its Socio-cultural Context," continues by presenting papers that are a critical analysis of "The Relevance of a Macrosociological Perspective on Sexuality for an Understanding of the Risks of HIV Infection," "Rationality and Preventive Measures," and "Operationalizing Theories for Further Research." The final part, "From Theory to Prevention," covers: "The Place of Time in Understanding Sexual Behaviour and Designing HIV/AIDS Prevention Programs," "Norms of Relationship and Normative Tensions," and "New Conceptual Perspectives and Prevention." As a result of all of the studies that were investigated, the authors have come to a similar conclusion. "Most recommend that the focus for prevention move away from determining risk groups and attitudes and beliefs related to safer sex, and move toward defining risk situations and the basic values in those situations that reinforce safer sex." The key to prevention "is understanding when and in what situation the meaning of an action or cognition promotes safer sex and when they inhibit safer sex." As an example, condom use may mean mistrust or infidelity to some and care and love to others; or, unprotected sex may mean irresponsibility within one relationship and commitment and love in another.

This is a very thought-provoking book and one which should be consulted by researchers throughout the world who are trying to change sexual behavior in order to reduce the spread of AIDS. It is a difficult area in which to do research and one which needs to be expanded. The difficulty is understanding the real feelings of sexual intercourse which are as different as there are times it happens. A recommended book for all academic and medical libraries.

728. Rights of People Who Are HIV Positive: The Authoritative ACLU Guide to the Rights of People Living with HIV Disease and AIDS, by William B. Rubenstein, Ruth Eisenberg, Lawrence O. Gostin. 1996. Southern Illinois University Press, PO Box 3697, Carbondale, IL 62902-3697. 384p. (An American Civil Liberties Union Handbook). ISBN 0-8093-1991-8, 0-8093-1992-6pbk. $34.95, $13.95pbk. (Descriptors: Patients, Legal Status, Law and Legislation)

The American Civil Liberties Union is the champion on the rights of individuals. They have been in the forefront producing handbooks, guides, and manuals for individuals who may feel that their rights have been overlooked. These books are produced for the layperson and are in a question and answer format. They are intended to inform the non-specialist about the basic law on the subject and are intended to be shared with an attorney.

This excellent handbook covers the rights of people who are HIV positive. Although the population as a whole is becoming more tolerant and understanding, there are still areas where HIV positive individuals are being denied their basic rights. The first part of the handbook covers "Science and Public Health," delving into HIV disease, HIV testing, confidentiality, public health measures, and liability for transmission of HIV. Part 2, "Living with HIV Disease," discusses the rights as they pertain to health care decision making, private insurance, public benefits, planning for incapacity and death, and family law. Part 3, "Discrimination Against People with HIV Disease," covers all areas including access to health care, discrimination in public places, employment discrimination, and housing discrimination. Discrimination can be a difficult area to determine but, after reading this section, one should be able to determine whether or not discrimination is a factor. The last part, "HIV Disease in Special Settings," looks at schools, prisons, immigration, and injection drug use.

This is a highly recommended book for anyone who is HIV positive. It has a wealth of information, covering all areas that one may encounter in life. Being rightfully informed is of utmost importance for HIV positive individuals. Discrimination can be there without you knowing it. Every attorney should be aware of this book when working with HIV individuals. It is a must book for all medical, public, and academic libraries, even being a reference sources in the reference collection.

729. Practicing Desire: Homosexual Sex in the Era of AIDS, by Gary W. Dowsett. 1996. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA 94305-2235. 322p., bibliog., index. ISBN 0-8047-2711-2, 0-8047-2712-0pbk. $49.50, $17.95pbk. (Descriptors: Social Aspects, Gays, Gay Liberation Movement, Homosexuality)

AIDS has drastically changed the way many individuals look at sexual encounters, whether they are gay or straight. For others, however, there is no change. Much has been written on how AIDS has affected the sexual desires of gays, resulting, sometimes, in conflicting accounts. It is safe to say, however, that AIDS is decreasing in the gay communities for now. We can only keep our fingers crossed and hope that the young people will heed all of the advice that we older individuals are willing to give. It is so easy to let your guard down and practice unsafe sex. This very interesting book looks at how 20 individuals in Sydney, Australia's gay community, have lived through this crisis. The men range in age from early twenties to sixty, working class to jaded hustler, and drag queen to married bisexual. These are no-holds-barred interviews that reveal how they came to their homosexuality, how they understand the AIDS crisis, and how they have reacted to the crisis in terms of their sexual practice. Each describes his own tale in uninhibited language. Gary Dowsett insists that we cannot really understand what gay sexual desire is without looking in depth at the lives of gay men who are willing to reveal what makes them tick.

The interviews revealed much to Dowsett. Sex is complex, gay sex is even more complex, and the dangers of gay sex are always there. "As the men in this study show us, being gay (or homosexually active) in the era of AIDS is a complex ongoing struggle, a struggle with the self at each moment of sexual engagement, a struggle with other men similarly engaged, a struggle framed powerfully by homosexuality itself, both as discourse and as practice." Gays have fought this disease and have banned together in their communities. The gay communities have become safe places.

This is a very interesting book to read and one that should be looked at by anyone doing studies on sexual relationships, sex in the face of AIDS, or other sexual interactions. Everyone needs to understand that the desire to have sex means different things to different people. A recommended book for all medical and academic libraries.

730. Intimate Death: How the Dying Teach Us How to Live, by Marie de Hennezel, translated by Carol Brown Janeway. 1997. Alfred A. Knopf, 201 E 50th St., New York, NY 10022. 182p. ISBN 0-679-45056-4. $22.00. (Descriptors: Death, Psychological Aspects, Terminally Ill, Psychology)

This book was originally published in France as La Mort Intime. Most of us are afraid to talk about death. It is so final with no dress rehearsal. Yet, all of us face it everyday of our lives by seeing loved ones die. We see it from afar by reading about the death of various personalities around the world and wonder why they had to die so soon. This book draws upon Marie de Hennezel's personal experiences "as it tells us how to talk to anyone we care about who is dying--how to help them and ourselves face the end squarely and acceptingly, and thus how to enrich our lives and bring back both peace and dignity to death." She has written a remarkable book that tells how to live each day remaining to its fullest, to move beyond pain, confusion, or despair, and to make peace with the approaching end. This book is a lesson in living. It is meant to teach us to look at each day and gain the most from that day. "We hide death as if it were shameful and dirty. We see in it only horror, meaninglessness, useless struggle and suffering, an intolerable scandal, whereas it is our life's culmination, its crowning moment, and what gives it both sense and worth."

This book is the result of some seven years of accumulated experience in the company of the dying who have come to spend their last days in a palliative care unit. It is a difficult book to read just because it is about death and dying. On the other hand, once you begin reading, you begin to relax, think, and realize that death will come regardless, so why be so terrified. This is a moving book, one that will bring a tear to your eye. It is a rewarding book in that it opens ones eyes at how others have struggled with the terrifying thought of dying. The best advice is to find a copy of the book and read it for yourself and see how you feel afterwards. It is a recommended book for all libraries and especially for those who are in the care of someone who is terminally ill.

731. Nurses Drug Guide 1997, by Billie Ann Wilson, Margaret T. Shannon, Carolyn L. Stang. 1997. Appleton & Lange, Four Stamford Plaza, PO Box 120041, Stamford, CT 06912-0041. 1,525p., index. ISBN 0-8385-6985-4. ISSN 1062-9092. $26.95. (Descriptors: Drugs, Nursing)

There are numerous drug guides but this one has become a standard since 1993. It is extremely easy to use, giving information for safe and effective drug administration. "Drugs have multiple uses or indications; therefore, it is important to know why a drug is being prescribed for a client." The drugs are listed alphabetically according to generic names and indexed by both generic and trade names. Drugs with the maple leaf emblem following their name indicate that they are available only in Canada. For each drug the following are presented: classification, pregnancy category, schedule, actions/pharmacodynamics, uses, route and dosage, pharmacokinetics, contraindications and precautions, adverse/side effects, diagnostic test interferences, drug interactions, incompatibilities, and nursing implications.

There are several appendices that include: U.S. schedules of controlled substances, Canadian controlled substance classifications, a nomogram for estimating body surface area in children, FDA pregnancy categories, metric conversion factors, combination drugs, glossary, abbreviations, antibiotic drug IV Y-site compatibility chart, and nonantibiotic drug IV Y-site compatibility chart.

A highly recommended handbook for all those in the nursing profession and a necessary reference source for all medical and large academic libraries.

732. AIDS Cult: Essays on the Gay Health Crisis, edited by John Lauritsen, Ian Young. 1997. ASKLEPIOS/Pagan Press, PO Box 1902, Provincetown, MA 02657-0245. 223p. ISBN 0-943742-10-2. $15.00. (Descriptors: Social Aspects, Psychological Aspects, Survival) (Contributors: Casper G. Schmidt, John Lauritsen, George N. Hazlehurst, Ian Young, Michael Ellner, Andrew Cort, Cass Mann, Michael Callen)

There are many critics who say that research has steered us in the wrong direction concerning the cause of AIDS. There are now many who reject the hypothesis that HIV causes AIDS. It may frighten some who think that veering away from this belief will only hasten their death. Although these individuals have some interesting theories and concepts, we should never overlook what current therapies are providing. True, these therapies do not provide the same results from everyone but who can doubt the decrease in a viral load from the millions to undetectable. Who can doubt the fact that many of the combination drugs are lengthening the lives of hundreds of individuals.

On the other hand, it is good to be jolted into another plane by having individuals who believe in what they write, present their thoughts to the rest of the world. That is what this book is about. This is a book of articles by individuals who criticize all that has been done. "Up to now we AIDS critics have tended to slight the psychosocial factors that are damaging the health of gay men--and the HIV believers have ignored them completely. The essays in this book should redress the balance. They examine the irrational, cultic aspects of the AIDS phenomenon."

The ten essays cover: "The Group-Fantasy Origins of AIDS," "Psychological and Toxicological Causes of AIDS," "Lessons from Hiroshima," "AIDS as Information Disease," "The Psychohistorical Origins of AIDS," "Programmed to Die: Cultural Hypnosis and AIDS," "HIV Voodoo from Burroughs Wellcome," "Long-Term Survival," and "Think Positive: The AIDS Cult and Its Seroconverts." This is not a book for everyone but is still one that has its place in all libraries.

733. Intimate Details and Vital Statistics: AIDS, Sexuality and the Social Order in New Zealand, edited by Peter Davis. Auckland University Press/Paul & Co., PO Box 442, Concord, MA 01742. 1996. 234p., bibliog., index. ISBN 1-86940-139-5. $24.95. (Descriptors: New Zealand, Social Aspects, Sexuality, Gays, Maori People) (Contributors: John Broughton, Penny Brander, John Carter, Jane Chetwynd, Peter Davis, Nigel Dickson, Philippa Howden-Chapman, Orly Jacobson, Robert Kemp, Roy Lay Yee, Bronwen Lichtenstein, Warren Lindberg, Judith McMorland, Valerie Norton, Julie Park, Ron Paterson, Charlotte Paul, Kathryn Scott, Austen Woods, Heather Worth)

It has been a little over 10 years since the first case of AIDS was confirmed in New Zealand. Much has happened since that first case and a great deal has been learned. "The epidemic has produced a rich, varied, profound and complex social and political response that tells us as much about the changing character of New Zealand society as it does about the phenomenon of the disease itself." Studying these social and political responses is the theme of this book. The early response to AIDS was a period of latency in which gay activist were at the front. This was followed with a high level of mobilization in the gay community and a beginning of the government to become very involved. In the present period of the disease the observations are of "consolidation, if not stagnation, and evidence of official retrenchment." The book is intended to document the AIDS epidemic and its impact on New Zealand as a whole; assess the social and cultural response to the epidemic; present first hand accounts of the experiences of those groups most directly affected by the epidemic; and finally reflect on everything that has happened up to now.

After an introduction, "AIDS, sexuality and the social order in New Zealand," there are four chapters that look at the epidemic in retrospect: "HIV infection and AIDS in New Zealand: a public health report," "Softly, softly: New Zealand law responds to AIDS," "Conservatism and constancy?: New Zealand sexual culture in the era of AIDS," and "Creating icons of AIDS: the media and popular culture." The next four chapter discuss the social makeup of the affected groups: "Men who have sex with men: Sexual patterns in New Zealand," "From grassroots to business suits: The gay community response to AIDS," "Safe sex and parlour work: Condom use by women parlour workers in and out of work," and "The Prostitutes' Collective: A uniquely New Zealand institution." The next two chapters speak of injections and transfusions: "From a bang to a whimper: Policy responses to injecting drug use and viral infection" and "An intimate reliance: Health reform, viral infection and the safety of blood products."

The last two chapters are reflective: "He taru tawhiti: Maori people and HIV/AIDS" and "It could be me--it could be you: Women's experiences of HIV/AIDS in New Zealand. A final chapter speaks about viable partnerships. In order to properly organize and continue to fight AIDS there has to be a partnership among community groups, medical personnel, health agencies and officials, and the education sector. A very interesting book that speaks about issues that one would find in most other developed countries around the world. It is easy to read, well documented and recommended for all medical and academic libraries.

734. Ten Best Tools to Boost Your Immune System, by Elinor Levy, Tom Monte. 1997. Houghton Mifflin, 215 Park Ave. S, New York, NY 10003. 314p., bibliog., index. ISBN 0-395-69460-4. $14.00. (Descriptors: Health, Natural Immunity, Nutrition, Health Behavior)

Who is not concerned about their immune system? Having an immune system that is not up to par is not only the concern of those who are HIV positive or have AIDS but, also, of people with many kinds of adult and childhood infections, cancer, heart disease, and allergies. Elinor Levy has a degree in biophysics and postdoctoral training in immunology. She is a firm believer in everyone taking responsibility of their own health and adopting a lifestyle that actually boosts the immune system. Here down-to-earth suggestions are not intended to replace medical attention but, instead, to enhance what medicines may be necessary. It is a proven fact that many medicines do not work because individuals fight them. We have to be at peace with ourselves and be able to relax and let the body do its work.

With this in mind there are four diet-boosters that help in building a powerful immune system: low-fat foods (not surprising), antioxidants, minerals, and herbs. The other six tools that you need to be aware of are: stress management, social support and intimacy, good attitude, moderate exercise, balance, and elimination of toxins. If you are able to pursue even a few of these, you should see results. One chapter is devoted entirely to HIV and AIDS, pointing out various diet measures, recommended supplements, nutritional boosters, vitamins, minerals, herbs, and exercise. It, also, points out some things that are potentially harmful such as smoking, radiation, and psychoactive recreational drugs. This is a highly recommended book for anyone regardless of the state of their immune system but especially for those with a compromised immune system. Recommended for all libraries.

735. Dream of Order, by Thomas Avena, foreword by Adrienne Rich. 1997. Mercury House, 785 Market St., Ste. 1500, San Francisco, CA 94103. 114p. ISBN 1-56279-102-8. $14.00. (Descriptors: Poetry)

Thomas Avena is the recipient of a 1995 American Book Award for editing and cowriting Life Sentences: Writers, Artists, and AIDS. He, also, was the editor for "Project Face to Face," and AIDS oral history and arts installation at the Smithsonian Institution's Experimental Gallery in 1991. He is well known for his issues of treatment advocacy and has received awards in AIDS education and the arts. This book of poems is an outstanding representation of all that Avena believes in. They cover oppression, illness and death in such a way to jolt you into the present as you have never been jolted. A highly recommended book to be bought and read and re-read. No reviewer can do justice because everyone will see something different while reading these expressive poems. Get this book and read it. Highly recommended for all libraries.

736. Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge, by Steven Epstein. 1996. University of California Press, 2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720. 466p., bibliog., index. ISBN 0-520-20233-3. $29.95. (Descriptors: Research, Social Aspects, Activism, Political Aspects)

There are countless numbers of books that have been written about AIDS activism, sociology of AIDS, politics of AIDS, sex and AIDS, drugs and AIDS, AIDS treatments and therapies, and, more recently, anti-AIDS activism. If one read and studied them all, there would be many conflicting statements that would make you nervous. If you were an activist you would pick and choose what you read that supported your particular area of concern, resulting in a reinforcement of that statement. If you were a physician you would look at the research and clinical aspects without, most of the time, looking at the human side with its possible non-medical implications. If you were Steven Epstein you would do extensive research and produce this landmark book that looks at two controversies that have shaken the credibility of the scientific knowledge about AIDS: "debates about the causes of the syndrome and debates about treatments." These debates are ongoing but many have been squelched by the scientific community and, as a result, never make it into mainstream press. Epstein tries to elaborate and show us that this is truly an impure science with many hidden agendas that may or may not be true. It provides a dilemma for all those who believe that science is the answer to all and should not be challenged. Read this book and you will be challenged.

In the first part the causes of AIDS are outlined and discussed: "The Nature of a New Threat," "HIV and the Consolidation of Certainty," "Reopening the Causation Controversy," and "The Debate That Wouldn't Die." It is this last part that is creating so much controversy--AIDS without HIV. "The construction of belief about the cause of AIDS, and the dynamics of controversy, cannot be understood through an analysis of the scientific field as traditionally understood--as a self-contained arena in which credentialed researchers are the only important actors. Rather, a highly public and somewhat open field has been the site of incessant struggle, negotiation, cooperation, and interaction among a variety of individuals, institutions, and organizations."

Treatment of AIDS is now under fire, even with all of the newer protease inhibitors. There are still those who think there is a conspiracy in using some of the drugs. Five chapters cover this topic: "Points of Departure," "Drugs into Bodies," "The Critique of Pure Science," "Dilemmas and Divisions in Science and Politics," and "Clinical Trials and Tribulations." Here are discussed all of the controversies surrounding AIDS drug research and the clinical trials that go along with it and the resulting very high cost of producing and disseminating the drugs. Unfortunately, we still do not have a cure. We have more high powered and expensive drugs costing many thousands of dollars per year per individual. Neither the scientist nor the activist can say that they won in this debate. There is, however, a deeper understanding on both sides and an increasing respect of the scientists by the activists.

This is a monumental book to read and ponder over. It may make you nervous, or mad, or ask questions, or it may just be another book about AIDS in the long list that you have read. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended. It is a no-nonsense book with a great deal of merit and understanding. All medical and academic libraries should have the book as well as the larger public libraries.

737. Things Shaped in Passing: More "Poets for Life" Writing from the AIDS Pandemic, edited by Michael Klein, Richard McCann. 1997. Persea Books, 171 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016. 212p. ISBN 0-89255-217-4. $13.95. (Descriptors: Patients, Poetry, American Poetry) (Contributors: Kim Addonizio, Tom Andrews, David Bergman, Rafael Campo, Cyrus Cassells, Michelle Cliff, Henri Cole, Alfred Corn, Christopher Davis, Tory Dent, Melvin Dixon, Tim Dlugos, Mark Doty, Denise Duhamel, Beatrix Gates, Thom Gunn, Marilyn Hacker, Richard Howard, Marie Howe, Lynda Hull, Michael Klein, Joan Larkin, Timothy Liu, Donna Masini, David Matias, Richard McCann, James Merrill, Ron Mohring, Paul Monette, Mary Jane Nealon, Carl Phillips, Boyer Rickel, Jerod Santek, Reginald Shepherd, Richard Tayson, Jean Valentine, Maggie Valentine, Belle Waring, Marvin K. White, Donald W. Woods, Mark Wunderlich, Joel Zizik)

In 1989 Poets for Life: Seventy-Six Poets Respond to AIDS, was published. It was published when AIDS was first entering the consciousness of the literary writers. This book is a companion to that 1989 book. "Poems written today are in some ways more insistent in recognizing AIDS as some enormous aspect of the everyday rather than simply as somebody else's problem." That is in stark contrast to the earlier poems which were mainly about death and dying. Why have poems about AIDS? Why have poetry? It is a soothing therapy that calms the angry, soothes those in pain, and releases pent up anxiety. It helps to relax and can help one gain peace of mind. "This important and passionate collection presents the work of forty-two American poets whose vision and language bear the impress of the AIDS pandemic, now almost in its third decade."

This is a highly recommended book for everyone and for all libraries. It presents a cross-section of hundreds of poets who have AIDS or have had AIDS affect their lives, giving the reader an understanding that cannot be gained from any other literary form. Read and reread.


[ AIDS BOOK REVIEW JOURNAL | UIC University Library ]

Last updated:09/22/97
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