"Hoffman's narrative explores in considerable depth Oppen's thinking about his own work, his reasonings and judgments on himself and his contemporaries in life, politics and poetry. Throughout, Hoffman supplies a rich contextual background to the Oppens' story, one in which public and private life continually intersect not only in the socio-cultural aspects of their lives but in the undergirdings of love, hope and guilt that empower the thought and poetry . . . Complex, highly-nuanced and well-documented, Hoffman's narrative makes clear that few careers in modern poetry are so entwined with biography as Oppen's." -From Michael Heller's introduction.