The idea for this collection was to offer a tip of the hat to people whose lives and/or works have influenced the author. Each piece is forwarded by a short background story as well as an epigram which provides some descriptive entry and flavour. The key was to construct these pieces in the author's own style and voice and not fall into simple mimicry. Many names have been encrypted into the pieces as fractured homonyms, a sort of pun for the astute reader.
I guess I'm just a sucker for stories and characters that suffer existential angst and contain a perverse bent for the melodramatic.
Stan Rogal’s latest collection, after words
, offers a series of scintillating poetic responses to authors and artists from the recent and distant past. Rogal’s sophisticated awareness of poetic possibilities gestures to what happens outside the conventions of language, tilting beyond words, while pursuing after words. Throughout these meta-poetic portrayals, Rogal’s autobiographical narrator inhabits the realms of literary and artistic precursors including Artaud, Atwood, Bogart, Burroughs, Calvino, Cohen, Eliot, Nin, and Shakespeare. A series of brilliant tours-de-force while providing an inspirational tour of the art of words.
Karl Jirgens, Editor Rampike
If it’s words you’re after, you'll find plenty of fine ones in Stan Rogal’s after words
. But be warned: they’re not all pretty and the way they’re put together could be overpowering to the unprepared. I’m reminded of Lautréamont’s caveat in Maldoror, that the reader must become as fierce as what he’s reading or risk being annihilated by it: literature as obliterature. Not to suggest after words isn’t a nuanced work vibrant with wordplay, humour, musicality, atmosphere, and style. It’s that and more, but what impresses most is the vivid carnality of Rogal’s writing. Visceral, muscular, fleshly, and very much alive, this may be the strongest offering yet from the regal rogue of CanLit, the only poet who would unapologetically pay homage to Sylvia Plath and Humphrey Bogart in the same volume, and Albert Camus and Merle Haggard in the same poem.