A Sunday in Purgatory

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A debut book of poems by Henry Morgenthau lll





“In these precious days I dress my private demons in scribblings to come out from behind the shadows that have darkened my long and privileged life . . . in a purgatory where I wait to pass through the open gates.”

—Henry Morgenthau III


Praise for A Sunday in Purgatory:

“Morgenthau’s poems are crisp, elegant forays into memory both personal and cultural, as he engages, with an ironic, Lowellian eye, a rich cultural history of growing up in affluent Manhattan during the 1920s and 30s. His surgical examinations of self and his unflinching stare into mortality define the unique and honest voice of this remarkable first book of poems.”

—Peter Balakian, author of Ozone Journal, 2016 Pulitzer Prize for poetry


“A late bloomer, Henry Morgenthau’s talent shows that old age is a wonderful time for self-expression.”

—Jane Mayer, staff writer, The New Yorker, author of Dark Money 


“It was a delight to read these poems, heartfelt, wry and sparely eloquent. Some made me laugh out loud; others broadened my literary horizons and sense of what poetry takes on: do you mean it’s really possible to write about that feeling? That memory? That experience? It is, and Henry Morgenthau III does it beautifully.”

—Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold’s Ghost and founder of Mother Jones


“These precise and nuanced poems examine both the frailties and the strengths of our human nature. Morgenthau writes as naturally of the details of American history does of a lunch with friends, reminding us that the inner and outer worlds are more connected than we might think. Often elegiac in tone, A Sunday in Purgatory offers us lessons learned from a lifetime spanning a century, in which hope wrestles daily with despair, and often triumphs.”

—Rose Solari, author of The Last Girl


About the Author:

Having reached his centennial year, Henry Morgenthau III has recently found a delayed vocation: writing poetry. Formerly a producer and writer for WBGH in Boston, a major contributor to PBS, he received many awards for his pioneering documentaries and talk shows. He produced the series, Eleanor Roosevelt: Prospect of Mankind, which she hosted during the last three years of her life. His memoir, Mostly Morgenthaus, won the annual Jewish Book Council prize for autobiography/memoir. He has recently published poetry in Nimrod and an essay, “The White House Revisited,” in District Lines, published by Politics and Prose. Morgenthau now resides in Washington, D.C.

To order a copy of A Sunday in Purgatory, please visit the online store.