Here's to Tony Frazer
“Wine [poetry] is an intimate culinary [literary] pleasure. We may share a bottle [book of poems], but we come to that wine [poetry] personally and individually. The experience of two people with the same wine [poem] can differ wildly for reasons that we may never fully understand.” –– Eric Asimov, WINE SCHOOL, The New York Times. Wednesday, May 6, 2015, D4.
Given the age-old coupling of the pleasures of the fruits of vine and verse, the bracketed words above stake their own claim to credibility within a blink of the eye. Maybe that’s why the first thought about what I should say in this “Tonyfest” came in a jiffy. Tony Frazer, my favorite and best of poetry publishers, and my favorite and most renowned of wines, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, make quite a pair. The reputation of this wine, the first to be classified under France’s “appellation d’origine contrôlée,” and thus the prototype for all future appellations, now defines Tony’s standing in the world of contemporary poetry for me. May both stand tall as the old fortress between the town and the river, pictured below, and their years of great vintage endure. Though we may differ wildly about books of poems and bottles of wine, we can surely understand our debt and drink fully to those who have given them to us. “Cheers, Yeiasou, Santé, and Thank you, Tony!