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In his twenties, Clemens Starck dropped out of Princeton to take responsibility for his own education—to read deeply, travel widely, and write poems with the precision and plainspokenness of the Chinese masters. Over decades, he kept his mind clear making a living with his hands. Cathedrals & Parking Lots represents the work of a lifetime—poems of clarity and substance based on actual experiences—standing lookout on the bow of a freighter, dismantling houses for a living, building a freeway overpass, traveling to Russia and studying the language. Composed in the cadences of everyday speech, Starck’s poems have the functional beauty of a Shaker chair—every word, every line, every image belongs.
Clemens Starck was born in 1937. A Princeton dropout and former merchant seaman, he has supported his literary and intellectual interests for more than fifty years by working with his hands, mainly as a carpenter and construction foreman. He is the author of six books of poetry and has performed his poems widely throughout the West. A widower, he has three grown children and lives on forty-some acres in the foothills of the Coast Range in western Oregon.
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