once upon a twin


By Raymond Luczak

Categories: LGBTQ, Literature / Poetry / Literary Studies
Imprint: Gallaudet University Press
Paperback : 9781944838768, 96 pages, February 2021
Ebook : 9781944838775, 96 pages, February 2021
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Book Trailer



When Raymond Luczak was growing up deaf in a hearing Catholic family of nine children, his mother shared conflicting stories about having had a miscarriage after—or possibly around—the time he was conceived. As an elegy to his lost twin, this book asks: If he had a twin, just how different would his life have been? 


Raymond Luczak is the author and editor of more than twenty books, including Flannelwood: A Novel, QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology, and Compassion, Michigan: The Ironwood Stories. An inaugural Zoeglossia Fellow and an eleven-time Pushcart Prize nominee, he lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.



"A compendium of deftly crafted verse that is contemplative, eloquent, and thought-provoking, 'Once Upon A Twin: Poems' is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Contemporary American Poetry collections."

— Wisconsin Bookwatch

"Luczak is a skilled craftsman and this collection shows him operating within a variety of syntactical styles ... One of the many striking things about this collection, as well as Luczak’s poetry in general, is the immediacy and directness. He is not a poet who hints. He is a poet who reports. In Once Upon a Twin he has submerged a diving bell into his memory. He makes his readers grateful for the inventory he brings back."

— Mike James, As It Ought to Be Magazine

Advance Praise

“The woods are dark, deep, and quite real in Raymond Luczak’s once upon a twin. Here, in this dream of a book, the speaker’s twin is not miscarried but conjured to comfort the isolated child he was. Through poems describing the speaker’s bullying at school and alienation at home where ASL was not a part of family life, the beloved twin becomes a figure for the unnamed, the overlooked, the person who must be restored through love and attention. once upon a twin is a fantastic and necessary book.”

— Connie Voisine, author of "The Bower"

“Hauntingly beautiful. Raymond Luczak has always been a poet of longing, but with once upon a twin he has outdone himself. Reaching back as far as his time in his mother’s womb, communing with the ghosts that he would grapple with for the rest of his life, he gives us another angle on the Deaf experience. We have much to be grateful for in this epic of story and song.”

— John Lee Clark, author of "Where I Stand"

once upon a twin is revisionist personal mythmaking at its most vulnerable and most insistent. The truth is delivered through Luczak’s thoroughgoing exploration of a classic symbol reinvented through the lens of Deaf and gay identity.”

— Ellen McGrath Smith, author of "Nobody’s Jacknife"

“Raymond Luczak’s once upon a twin brings forward the mystery of life both in its physicality and its spindrift ardor for what might have been or still could be. These poems are lyrical, tough, tender, and utterly original.”

— Stephen Kuusisto, author of "Have Dog, Will Travel"