young poet who began his career in the ‘60s, and was singled out at that time
by Frank O’Hara as one of the few to be watched, is Tony Towle. . . .
Associated for all the usually incorrect, or at least incorrectly perceived,
reasons with “The New York School,” Towle’s work stands quite solidly on its
own. . . . O’Hara does crop up in a few of these works, but unlike so many of
the late poet’s imitators, or those who use his name and growing legend to
enhance their own reputations, Towle’s references to O’Hara and his work are always
pertinent and controlled by Towle’s distinct voice and distinguishing
— Michael Lally, The Washington Post Book World,
January 1, 1978
majority of the works in this collection contain a subtle passion, balanced by
a clarity and a straightforwardness which tell us exactly what Towle has on his
mind. But at the same time the poet’s craft, his effective use of language’s
inherent ambiguities, tends to thicken the plot. The thoughts, ideas, and
associations which set off his poetical musings are finely orchestrated with an
inventive, meticulously mellifluous quirkiness à la Prokofiev, sans angst.
This is a book which, once you’ve finished reading it, makes you go and pick up
Towle’s North and read that again, then his Lines for the New Year
and read that again, and then you wish there were more.
— Art Lange, The Poetry Project Newsletter,
If Mr. [Richard] Hugo
can be said to overstate, Tony Towle can be said to hold back or undercut
through irony and wry humor. He uses the banal and elegant with equal style in
an inflated rhetoric of logically bizarre metaphors . . .
— Hugh Seidman, The New York Times Book Review,
May 14, 1978