Publisher: Available Press / Ballantine Books (1986)
Last Words is the first major collection of poems by a Milwaukee poet born soon after World War II who reached maturity during the late 1960s. It contains his highly acclaimed epic “Factory,” described by Allen Ginsberg as “a definitely powerful epic by one of Whitman’s ‘poets and orators to come.’”
Antler was born in Milwaukee and grew up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He “worked his way through college” in various factories. As John Muir left the University of Wisconsin at Madison for “the University of the Wilderness” in 1863, Antler left the Milwaukee campus for the same destination in 1973. Besides factories, he has explored wildernesses in Upper Peninsula Michigan, Minnesota, Ontario, Colorado, and California.
“Factory” is only one of his many amazing poems—poems no less profound for their generous humor, fugitive lines dashed in factories and leisurely lines breathed into wilderness vistas.