Language Matters

by Tony Quagliano

240 Pages, 6 x 9

Library of Congress Control Number:  2009937435

ISBN:  978-1-935520-08-5

Publication Date:  03/15/2012

Press Release

Cover Art:  Rainwear (drawing, 1990)
by Laura Ruby  |


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Tony Quagliano's contributions to Hawai'i and to the world of poetry were many and wide ranging. His was a singular voice in poetry. He reveled in the possibilities of language, the sounds of words, and the potential for philosophical complexities. He was feisty, humorous, joyfully exuberant and had an inviolable sense of justice. This collection of his work exemplifies that existence and shows us all that Language Matters.


In this collection of treasures, Tony Quagliano continues to live, and to show us that poetry matters—and life and laughter and places, and ideals, and doubts all matter. His politics and science are timeless. How wonderful to hear his music again.

—Maxine Hong Kingston, editor of Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace (Koa Books)

Do they scream inside Paradise? They certainly do, and Tony Quagliano makes you hear it. Does Paradise also persist despite the screaming? It certainly does, and Tony lets it roll out in splendor. In his cool voice and lean lines you hear also the roar of our age with its mysteries and sorrows in plain sight. These are works of wisdom, instruction, and beauty.

—Andrei Codrescu, author of Jealous Witness: New Poems (Coffee House Press)

Tony Quagliano's spare, straight forward poems always surprise and delight. Whether he is talking about Diamond Head, Molokai, Oahu, the images he paints stay in our heads. He is witty, sharp—often a surprise at the end of the poems. I love his stories, poems about other poets. Unique, strong and touching. I miss him but am so glad for these poems.

—Lyn Lifshin, author of Barbaro, Beyond Brokenness (Texas Review Press)

The poems of Tony Quagliano will always feel utterly transporting and transformative. He encountered the days and nights in their many lights and rhythms, absorbed them, became them, exchanged the deepest gifts of listening and looking.

—Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Honeybee (HarperCollins)