Opinions tend to be uninteresting, which is one of the reasons why I always like reading poet Gary Lenhart’s critical pieces: he gives us far more than thumbs up or thumbs down. In his clean, clear prose, Lenhart comes across as companionable, smart, well-read, alert, and sane. He has no terrible axes to grind and he never lords it over the work under scrutiny. Even on those rare occasions when I disagree with him, I trust his probity, I am delighted by his wit, and I applaud the fact that ultimately he is rooting for everyone to write well.
Gary Lenhart is the author of five collections of poetry, including Compositions (2010), Father and Son Night (1999), and Light Heart (1991), from Hanging Loose Press. He also wrote The Stamp of Class: Reflections on Poetry and Social Class (University of Michigan Press, 2006). He has contributed poems, essays, and reviews to many magazines and anthologies, and was an editor of the magazines Mag City and Transfer. With Steve Levine, Gregory Masters, and Bob Rosenthal he edited Clinch: Selected Poems of Michael Scholnick (Coffee House Press, 1998) and with Christopher Edgar The Teachers & Writers Guide to Classic American Literarture (Teachers & Writers Collaborative, 2001). He also edited The Teachers & Writers Guide to William Carlos Williams (1998). He worked at Teachers & Writers Collaborative for 10 years and has taught at Mercy College, LIU-Brooklyn, Columbia University, Community College of Vermont, College for Lifelong Learning, and since 1996 at Dartmouth.