Mark Milroy, Portrait of Douglas Crase, 2013. oil on canvas, 33 x 27 inches.
Douglas Crase is best known for a single book of poems, The Revisionist.
Born in 1944, he arrived thirty years later in New York and moved with his partner, now husband, Frank Polach, to the Chelsea neighborhood where they continue to live. They are the Doug and Frank of James Schuyler’s poem ‘Dining Out with Doug and Frank.’
When The Revisionist appeared in 1981 its unusual rhetoric was widely noted. “I think I speak for many,” reflected critic David Kalstone, “in saying it appeared with that sense of completeness of utterance and identity that must have come with the first books of Wallace Stevens—Harmonium—and Elizabeth Bishop—North and South.”
A law school dropout, Crase was once called to the dean’s office to explain himself. When he remarked that his classes were boring, the dean countered, “My son, ninety per cent of life is boring.” Since that interview, he has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and a MacArthur Fellowship for his work. Committed to the city, he also makes time for a mountain stream in Northeast Pennsylvania.