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The Strange Career of Scharmel Iris
“The research is painstakingly thorough and utterly original. A valuable and distinctive piece of work.”—C. D. Blanton, University of California, Berkeley
“Once picked up, cannot easily be put down.”—The Midwest Book Review
“Jaw-dropping in places, Abbott’s [book] entertains beyond a constant escalation of Iris’s audacity and narcissism. There is also much wit.”—The Chronicle of Higher Education
If poets are “liars by profession,” Sharmel Iris was truly professional. Poet, plagiarist, imposter, and forger, Iris engaged in a lifelong campaign of self-promotion that linked him to a constellation of leading writers and public figures—among them T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Joyce Kilmer, Ezra Pound, Dame Edith Sitwell, Diego Rivera, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, William Wrigley, and Woodrow Wilson. “Of poets writing today, there is no greater,”states a preface, signed by W.B. Yeats, to one of Iris’s volumes of poetry—although at the time of publication Yeats had been dead for several years.
(2007) 204 pp.
Craig Abbott, a professor emeritus of Northern Illinois University, is author of several studies on modern American poetry.
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