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Ray Ragosta
Varieties of Religious Experience

1993
poems, 80 pages, offset, smyth-sewn
ISBN 0-930901-83-5, paper $14
ISBN 0-930901-84-3, paper, signed, $20

Varieties of Religious Experience explores the indeterminate "margin" of residual memories and impulses as conceived by William James, to whom the book owes its title. ("Our whole past store of memories floats beyond this margin, ready at a touch to come in; and the entire mass of residual powers, impulses, and knowledges that constitute our empirical self.")

The book moves alternately toward this margin and away from it, exploring the border between the conscious and the residual, trying to reconcile the two around the focal points of production, dwelling and dance.


Ragosta is a native Rhode Islander and lives in Providence. Some of his poems have been translated into French.


"Ragosta dips us headfirst into experiences... [his] unrelenting intellect is balanced by swells of insight."

--Chris Potash, Small Press


"Ragosta's Varieties of Religious Experience ... documents the descriptive constitutions of poetic desire. But "desire" is superseded by speculation.... [It] seeks an annulment of the processes of culturalization by exhibiting their residualist surface structurations... [and a] speculative enactment of the prosopopoeia of philsophical description ... decidedly visionary (and even mystical) intent."

--Roger Riggins, Home Planet News