Michael Robbins’ Review of The Banquet, by Kenneth Koch

The Banquet

In The New York Observer, Michael Robbins offers one of the first reviews of The Banquet, the new and complete collection of Kenneth Koch’s plays that was recently published by Coffee House Press.  Although he’s not crazy about the book’s design, to put it mildly (it “has one of the ugliest book covers I’ve ever seen, but you know what they say”), Robbins praises Koch’s ability to shine as both poet and playwright:

Some writers excel in more than one form: Thomas Hardy, D. H. Lawrence and Eileen Myles are poets and novelists. Others, well—Eliot and Yeats are very great poets who wrote some plays. It might be unfair, but I approach modern and contemporary poets’ left-handed work—Wallace Stevens’s plays, Elizabeth Bishop’s paintings, Robert Creeley’s fiction—with adjusted expectations.The 600-plus pages of The Banquet suggest that the late poet Kenneth Koch had two right hands …

You can check out the whole review here.

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