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Langdon Hammer: James Merrill

Langdon Hammer: James Merrill

Life and Art. USA 2015, 944 pp., hardback,  39.99
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American poet James Merrill was born to high privilege and high expectations. Wounded by his parents’ bitter divorce, he was the child of a broken home, looking for repair in poetry and love. He was a gay man inventing his identity against the grain of American society during the eras of the closet, gay liberation, and AIDS. Above all, he led the life of a gifted, fiercely dedicated poet working every day to turn his life into art. After college, Merrill returned to the New York art world of the 1950s (he was friendly with Auden, Capote, and Elizabeth Bishop) and began publishing poems, plays, and novels. In 1953, he fell in love with an aspiring writer, David Jackson. They explored »boys and bars« as they made their life together in Connecticut and later in Greece and Key West.
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