ANOTHER SUNSET WE SURVIVE is teeming with interesting vignettes and peopled with colorful friends and family who have survived the trials of an intolerant world. The poems are fore-grounded with urgent issues: AIDS, breast cancer, the oppressive Catholic school system, a world history hostile to homosexuals and otherness… I admire the courage behind these poems and Kate Gray’s ability to interweave personal story with a strong political consciousness… and how all seem to glisten against the backdrop of a heartbreakingly beautiful and consoling Oregon landscape.
Striking poems of witness rise from these pages. With her musical, resonant voice, Kate Gray bears witness to three murdered women whose bodies were dumped in a forested park, to a Katrina victim singing gospel songs for other survivors of the flood, to the shunned AIDS victims “no one would bury.” She calls by name those whose names are too seldom spoken aloud: the homosexuals gassed during the Holocaust. These poems—including sensual songs of sculling, of love-making, of the painful vigil at a mother’s deathbed—provide a compelling testimony to the poet’s ethos: hers is a compassionate, courageous vision that embraces what’s both intensely private and movingly public.