The latest poetry collection by Lewis Turco, professor emeritus of English and creative writing at SUNY Oswego, opens with “Oswego,” the lead poem in a section called “Home Tunes.”
Star Cloud Press published the book, titled “The Familiar Stranger,” on Turco’s 80th birthday May 2.
Other poems in the opening section reference features local to Oswego, including the college campus, Breitbeck Park and the harbor.
Although the book brings together poems Turco wrote from about 1959 to 2013, he said that none of them has ever appeared in previous collections of his work.
Most have appeared in magazines and journals, however, including Commonweal, The Saturday Review, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Modern Poetry Studies, Sewanee Review and others, and some have been reprinted in poetry anthologies.
Turco wrote “Oswego” for the inauguration of John T. Sullivan as mayor of Oswego in 1988.
The poet retired from teaching at SUNY Oswego in 1996 but continues to write, publish and participate in poetry readings. He is the author of 52 books, chapbooks and monographs, in addition to hundreds of poems, stories, plays and essays in journals and anthologies. His guide to writing formal poetry, “The Book of Forms,” is in its fourth edition.