"America's poet of dissent and difference, of geography and distance, Edward Dorn (1929-1999) grew up in rural obscurity, Depression-era poverty and social estrangement as a dispossessed son of the Prairie. After initiating a critical involvement with new poetics in dialogue with his mentor Charles Olson at Black Mountain College in the 1950s, Dorn wandered the trans-mountain West following the variable winds of writing and casual employment until the mid-1960s, when a time of trial and change resulted in the beginnings of the groundbreaking long poem Gunslinger." "Edward Dorn was "culture morphologist," a poet whose central achievement lies in his creative response, at once intuitive, emotional and analytic, to the complex meanings of places and the people who live upon them. His writing enacts a deep respect for and attention to the diverse landforms of his native country. In the work of no other American writer are the soul of the land and the soul of the poet so inextricably linked. In both prose and poetry Dorn's sharp-eyed cultural critique goes hand in hand with a tender-hearted realism. The Dorn voice, unmistakable and evocative as the lonesome sounding of a far-off train whistle in the night, contributes a unique note to the literature of the second half of America's Twentieth Century."--Jacket.