by Ken White
Praise for The Getty Fiend:
Ken White speaks in swerve and thistle, thinks in hinges, muscles a touch of molasses into his syntax to flex the metronome. This is dazzle. These are necessary jostlings, tangled thick in coursing minutes, intercourses. Here, texture and reference are overlapped concerns, as artifice and blankness are both garmented and undressed: lovers, a beast, contemporary Los Angeles. We hunger for these racings—to be disguised, to be revealed, to jump leagues, to be in thrall. —Richard Siken
Ken White’s The Getty Fiend lives in its vast world of stunning lyric objectivity. The poems peril through strong characters, their chivalry of scope, breath, might, and myth, all to touch down in The J. Paul Getty Museum, and rejoice in a dream-vision of medieval modernism (“a SkyMall classic”). I always look to White’s poetry to close the gap between the ancient and the innovative; this is a mighty and brilliant second collection of poetry that holds its discontented marvel of grandeur at “kiss of air” distance, but bewitches with its arresting caress and craft. —Prageeta Sharma
The Getty Fiend’s poems squall with incomparable implication: necessary and livid éclat through our embalmèd darkness, “dialed to high.” Every spiral of beauty on earth is changed under such duress. And such close observation exceeds lexical and idiosyncratic gymnastics— this is no mere concordance of hips and thighs. If there is obscurity here, it is on the part of the reader. If our phantasms are condensed, we might thank Ken White for his cinematic mitigations. —Joan Naviyuk Kane
Like Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et La Bête, the alchemy of this dark romance is equal parts fabric, flesh, fur, and art direction. Ken White is the same sort of sorcerer of menace and allure, but The Getty Fiend is situated in contemporary Los Angeles, and in trailing the city’s specters—ecstasy, vengeance, and transformation—the poet takes surface streets. In language textured as distinctly as the dress of its heroes (belted, placketed, buckled, and triple-stitched), bare bodies too are fully accounted, philtrum to perineum. How far in does the docent escort lead? What’s behind this exhibit? Through these cretonne drapes? What Opera, Doc? Somewhere to surpass oneself. Wear this. Yes. You’re the one. We’ve waited for you. —Brian Blanchfield
About The Author
Ken White is a poet and screenwriter who divides his time between Montana and Southern California. He co-wrote and and co-produced the feature film Winter in the Blood, co-directed and co-wrote the short film Universal VIP, as well directed and co-wrote the short film The Conservationist, currently in development as a feature, which White will direct. He has written or co-written ten feature scripts, including Blight, and The Wereman, The Sorrows, and Cullen’s Hound, as well as new scripts, The Orpheum Circuit, The Conservationist, and a television pilot, LIT, with James Meetze. White is the author of three books of poetry, Eidolon, The Getty Fiend, as well as Middlemost Constantine (Spork 2018). His work has appeared in The Boston Review, The Tusculum Review, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, Omniverse, Manor House Quarterly, Versal, Spork, Horsethief, and Poets.org, among others. White teaches screenwriting at the low-residency MFA at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.