USF Book Club: Breakfast with Thom Gunn

UPDATE, 8/16/2010: It seems like the weather tomorrow may not be very pleasant, so we’ll meet indoors, not in the community garden. See you in the seminar room of Gleeson Library, #209.


Hello! At Book Club we decided to expand our horizons with a poetry selection for August. I suggested a book I read about a year ago and really loved (as a poet I have a low tolerance for bad or deliberately inaccessible poetry, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets aside…). Thankfully everyone else was game and agreed to read it!

Breakfast with Thom Gunn by local poet Randall Mann.

We have one copy of this book here at Gleeson and it’s currently checked out. You can request it through Link+, but there’s only a couple copies in that system. The other alternative is to request it through San Francisco Public Library, who has a handful of copies spread throughout the branch libraries in the city. Otherwise you can support a local book store and purchase it there, or you can buy an ebook version for your Kindle/iPad/whathaveyou.

We hope to meet in the Community Garden if the weather is nice. In case it is foggy/chilly, we will be in our back-up location: the seminar room of Gleeson Library (#209). Look for an email reminder on the morning of the 18th regarding our location. To sign up for the email list, contact Kelci at

“With audacious wit and formal prowess equal to the master to whom he pays homage, Randall Mann has written a book both poignant and humorous, where one minute ‘we stand above it all’ and the next minute we are reading ‘the notes of the drowned.’ Mann invites us a into a ghastly metropolis, its emptiness and ruin nonetheless populated with remarkable sites of grace. If this were only the evacuated city, ‘the nothingness behind us/the nothingness ahead,’ the permanent red of Ilium scattered with fallen bodies, the feral world of nonchalant disease, rent boys and assassins, it would simply be another note of irretrievable loss in the parade of human history. But with purling fountains and lush gardens, Mann reveals the transitory but beguiling beauty that holds despair in abeyance, that reminds us of why desire propels us forward. ‘Soon we will be underground,’ he says, but for now we enjoy the cherries that dangle tantalizingly before us.”—D. A. Powell

One thought on “USF Book Club: Breakfast with Thom Gunn”

  1. We at USF’s Center for the Pacific Rim are hosting Isabel Allende here at 5:45 Pm on September 9 in Fromm Hall. All are invited. We also have an invite from the SF Public Library on their annual book pick for SF Reads. Do you know of it and this year’s book set in New Orleans? Any interest?

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