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Courbet's Blue Parrot: Poems about Love and Sex

Courbet's Blue Parrot: Poems about Love and Sex - Stephen Fife

Courbet's Blue Parrot: Poems about Love and Sex


"Stephen Fife, who completed his 10,000 hours decades ago, is a life-wisened, hopelessly romantic, funny sonuvabitch." - Stephen Adly Guirgis

"A terrific selection of work ... often about sex, and how it can be a wonder of the world." - Michael Lindsay-Hogg


Courbet's Blue Parrot is a collection of 46 poems - both heady and sexy - about Love and Sex that span 50 years of Stephen Fife's poetry, from his youthful worship of feminine enchantments to feelings of pain and bitterness following his divorce and other breakups. In his earliest poem, One, Fife writes that "There is no me, there is no you, / There is not even us - there is only/ Love, a place where we can always run/ To find each other." The ensuing poems explore the mysteries, ecstasies and conflicts to be found in this country of "Love" - a place that everyone visits, and where many of us have had our deepest and most enduring experiences.


Fife, whose examinations of desire date back to 1970, started writing a new series of poems during the lockdown in 2020. These poems are longer, more explicit, more confessional and multi-dimensional than anything he has attempted before. His purpose is to explore the nature of love and lust, from heartfelt romance to possessiveness, from the deadly serious to the farcically comic, from rose-tinged dreams and fantasies to violence, rage and disappointment. His point is that we can only move forward in discussions of gender and power dynamics by respecting ALL voices, and that understanding can only happen when the truth is seen in all its beauty and ugliness. Or, to put it more simply, Fife is attempting to "bring sexy back" to the male poetic POV, working in the tradition of Ovid, Petrarch, Andrew Marvell, and the best of Bukowski.


This is Fife's 12th book, and his third poetry collection, after Dreaming in the Maze of Love-Grief-Madness (2014) and Twisted Hipster (2015), both published by Cune Press who also published Fife's two memoirs, Best Revenge: How the Theatre Changed My Life and Has Been Killing Me Ever Since and The 13th Boy: A Memoir of Education and Abuse - an Amazon bestseller, which was featured in The Huffington Post and People Magazine.


Fife's novel Angel's Glance (2019), which Kirkus Reviews called, "A haunting and keenly observed meditation on relationships, parenthood, and the vagaries of celebrity and fame," will be re-issued in 2022 under the title Loving Holly.


Fife came back to his first literary love, poetry, through ShiftPoetry(TM) workshops and ShiftPoetry Press is publishing COURBET'S BLUE PARROT as the first in a series of poetry volumes by Fife.


A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia School of the Arts, Fife has written several stage plays, screenplays and streaming projects. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Village Voice and New Republic. He is the recipient of a Federal Poetry Grant.


"Drawing inspiration from such poets as D.H. Lawrence and Charles Bukowski, Fife encourages us to awaken the part of ourselves we want to be again. This book is about what the world has forgotten: that poetry saves our ass." - Wendy Oxenhorn

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"Stephen Fife, who completed his 10,000 hours decades ago, is a life-wisened, hopelessly romantic, funny sonuvabitch." - Stephen Adly Guirgis

"A terrific selection of work ... often about sex, and how it can be a wonder of the world." - Michael Lindsay-Hogg


Courbet's Blue Parrot is a collection of 46 poems - both heady and sexy - about Love and Sex that span 50 years of Stephen Fife's poetry, from his youthful worship of feminine enchantments to feelings of pain and bitterness following his divorce and other breakups. In his earliest poem, One, Fife writes that "There is no me, there is no you, / There is not even us - there is only/ Love, a place where we can always run/ To find each other." The ensuing poems explore the mysteries, ecstasies and conflicts to be found in this country of "Love" - a place that everyone visits, and where many of us have had our deepest and most enduring experiences.


Fife, whose examinations of desire date back to 1970, started writing a new series of poems during the lockdown in 2020. These poems are longer, more explicit, more confessional and multi-dimensional than anything he has attempted before. His purpose is to explore the nature of love and lust, from heartfelt romance to possessiveness, from the deadly serious to the farcically comic, from rose-tinged dreams and fantasies to violence, rage and disappointment. His point is that we can only move forward in discussions of gender and power dynamics by respecting ALL voices, and that understanding can only happen when the truth is seen in all its beauty and ugliness. Or, to put it more simply, Fife is attempting to "bring sexy back" to the male poetic POV, working in the tradition of Ovid, Petrarch, Andrew Marvell, and the best of Bukowski.


This is Fife's 12th book, and his third poetry collection, after Dreaming in the Maze of Love-Grief-Madness (2014) and Twisted Hipster (2015), both published by Cune Press who also published Fife's two memoirs, Best Revenge: How the Theatre Changed My Life and Has Been Killing Me Ever Since and The 13th Boy: A Memoir of Education and Abuse - an Amazon bestseller, which was featured in The Huffington Post and People Magazine.


Fife's novel Angel's Glance (2019), which Kirkus Reviews called, "A haunting and keenly observed meditation on relationships, parenthood, and the vagaries of celebrity and fame," will be re-issued in 2022 under the title Loving Holly.


Fife came back to his first literary love, poetry, through ShiftPoetry(TM) workshops and ShiftPoetry Press is publishing COURBET'S BLUE PARROT as the first in a series of poetry volumes by Fife.


A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia School of the Arts, Fife has written several stage plays, screenplays and streaming projects. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Village Voice and New Republic. He is the recipient of a Federal Poetry Grant.


"Drawing inspiration from such poets as D.H. Lawrence and Charles Bukowski, Fife encourages us to awaken the part of ourselves we want to be again. This book is about what the world has forgotten: that poetry saves our ass." - Wendy Oxenhorn

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