Blue If Only I Could Tell You is the thirteenth collection of poetry by Richard Tillinghast. Long awaited, the book is his first since Wayfaring Stranger came out in 2012. Melodious, lyrical, these poems of place and displacement are deeply personal at times as they look back over a long and eventful life. Tillinghast also focuses on troubled and troubling aspects of the American story: the Indian Wars of the 19th century and the history of race relations in his native South, from slavery to the country's current racial reckoning. It is rare to see a poet with such gifts for musicality, vivid imagery and finely honed diction address himself so pointedly to issues of social and political import.
About the Author
Richard Tillinghast was born and raised in Memphis. After college at Sewanee he did graduate work at Harvard, where he studied with Robert Lowell. The author of thirteen books of poetry and five of creative nonfiction. He has taught at Harvard, Berkeley, the College Program at San Quentin Prison, and the University of Michigan in the US as well as at Trinity College Dublin and the Poets' House in Ireland. He has been awarded the James Dickey Prize for poetry from Five Points and the Cleanth Brooks Award for nonfiction from The Southern Review. Currently a member of the Core Faculty in the Converse College MFA program, he is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Michigan and a founder and past Director of the Bear River Writers' Conference in Northern Michigan.