An Introduction to Frederick Speers by Kristina Marie Darling

The stunning poetry of Frederick Speers echoes the work of artistic predecessors Brian Teare, Julia Story, and Laurie Sheck. The resemblance extends beyond the gratifyingly dense style of the writing, encompassing also the larger conceptual project and the philosophical underpinnings of the work. More specifically, Speers excels at employing textual difficulty as an aesthetic gesture. Here, difficulty is a meaningful part of the experience that Speers seeks to cultivate for his reader. In doing so, he creates a provocative reversal of power, deciding who is and who isn’t allowed into the imaginative terrain that he’s created. Here is a revolutionary poetics in language that simply radiates intelligence.

Frederick Speers (he/him) is the author of So Far Afield, a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. His chapbook, In the Year of Our Making and Unmaking was selected by Carl Phillips for the Frontier Poetry chapbook award in 2020. Fred’s poems have appeared in AGNI (Online); Crab Creek Review, winner of the 2020 poetry contest, selected by Keetje Kuiper; Diode Poetry Journal; Forklift, Ohio; Impossible Archetype; Iron Horse Literary Review; The Ofi Press Magazine; Tahoma Literary Review; Portland Review; The Rumpus; Salamander Magazine; The Straddler; Santa Fe Writers Project Quarterly; and Visible Binary. A full-time senior manager for a high tech company, Fred is also a reader for the Beloit Poetry Journal. He lives in Colorado with his husband and their two dogs.