The Richard Ronan Poetry Collection

Poetry lovers will be delighted to know that the Richard Ronan Collection at Dominican brings together many of Ronan’s rare and out of print books, including bound copies of many of the writers’ plays, a very rare copy of the chapbook A Lamp of Small Sorrows, and several of his esteemed poetry books. Additional resources available at the university include the short poetic biography of Richard Ronan, written by Dominican Associate Professor Jan VanStavern, and copies of several of Ronan’s final poems.



Let us worship in sweat and love the shapes,
for at last they are few, they are precious,
and we are falling,
brief as music.

–from Die Kunst der Fuge, A Radiance Like Wind or Water (1984)

Poet Richard Louis Ronan brought to his poetry the flavors, intuitions, and instincts of a gay man with a New Jersey Catholic childhood, an award-winning job as a teacher of troubled children in New Jersey, a Masters from University of California at Berkeley, and a life with partner Bill Pittman that was cut short by AIDS.

American Poetry Review editor David Bonanno calls him “one of the most important Post-Stonewall Poets” in this poetry that witnesses lust, human love, identity, survival, and how art can witness and sing against the complex corners of life. 

Selected Works


Additional Resources



Photograph by Maz Livingston