From the high art hi-jinks of Pavilion (1961) through the melancholy, AIDS-tinged Postcards on Parade: a Musical Play (1993), Kenward Elmslie has led an extraordinarily diverse and rich writing career. No one can say ahead of time exactly what Elmslie will be doing on such and such a date, but he is a master showman and has promised he won't let us down. Come and bring your children, so that one day they may be able to tell their own children, "I saw Kenward Elmslie," as one who might say, "I saw Marlene Dietrich," or "I saw Dylan Thomas." On second thought, you might leave the children at home after all and just enjoy yourself for once.
Poet, novelist, librettist and "performance artist," Kenward Elmslie is one of the unforgettable writers of our time. "It is as though Burroughs' permanent apocalypse were being observed by someone else: not a closet Savonarola, but someone motivated by the humor, sensuality, and joie de vivre of an O'Hara . . . The world may be an industrial swamp, but Elmslie's dazzling one-step ahead induction of it is a cause for rejoicing and even joy."--John Ashbery
January 10, 1997