Nebraska Center for Writers

Chimney Rock What the Critics Say
About Charles Fort


Copyright © 1993
by Charles Fort
St Andrews P

Charles Fort ... explores the Other through the use of an elaborate persona. "Darvil," he notes, is a "composite of devil and evil," but he gives him a noble lineage: "direct descendent of Leo Africanus." ... In deconstructing the great patchwork quilt that is American culture, Fort undermines any notion of the Other while understanding all too well the reality of it. His poems are jazzy riffs through Fourth of July bombast, Native American lore, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, and the detritus of a post-war materialism. And his comedy is Swiftian; he is most brutally funny when he is angriest. — Donald Soucy

The Town Clock Burning
Copyright © 1985
by Charles Fort
St Andrews Press

I think writers have to be inventive, to take risks in their work in the literary sense, be aware of what language can do and its possibilities. — Charles Fort

The publicaton of The Town Clock Burning is a signal event. Charles Fort is a poet of wide dimension and superb accomplishment. a solid, steadily developing poet with a body of engaging and important work ... fine honesty ... exhilarating lyricism. — Fred Chappell

Wilmington poet Charles Fort's book The Town Clock Burning is like a fresh canvas by some new, imaginative modern painter. ... Charles Fort rises above the regional and the racial to where true freedom resides — in the core of the imagination. — ET Malone, Jr

The potential and actual terrors of history, along with the struggle demanded to avoid such events from happening again is often exemplified in the many passionately committed poems dealing with black experience. ... The refusal to assume easy answers or to merely express hate, and the difficult, earned humility of the poem are testaments to Fort's powers as a poet. Though the poem's title bears a dedication, Fort's "we" throughout the poem gradually becomes more and more a speech-act of authenticity and integrity. I'm also struck here by how the poem's allusion and borrowing from Tennyson work so naturally; the sonority of Fort's language throughout this poem, and elsewhere in the collection, is worthy of comparison with Tennyson. Another strength of Fort's collection is the comparable ease with which he moves from poems of large historical and cultural importance to poems rooted in his private experience as a lover, father and son. — Ken Shedd

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Nebraska Center for Writers