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Thomas McGrath in The Movie at the End of the World

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Birmingham International Film Festival, First Prize
National telecast on PBS

"Thomas Matthew McGrath is North Dakota's gift to the millennia." - Everett Albers, Director, North Dakota Humanities Council

"To McGrath, 'the end of the world' seems a multiple ironic pun on the remoteness of North Dakota, the ultimate end or purpose of human existence, the fact that each passing moment is the end of one world and beginning of a new one, and the perilous state we're in that could make the phrase a literal one. Here is a man most of us are long overdue to meet." - Don Morrison, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"I loved the bastard." - Meridel LeSueur, author

"'The Movie at the End of the World' is the title of a movie about McGrath. It is also the title of a book of collected poems by McGrath. Or perhaps 'The Movie at the End of the World' is a video poem that is both by and about McGrath, since the video production is made up largely of images inspired by McGrath's poems, and many of the images are of McGrath reading or talking about the material in those poems." - Will Jones, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Here are several links to McGrath's work as well as works about his work:

For Selected Poems and Letter to an Imaginary Friend, Copper Canyon Press.

Out of print, The Revolutionary Poet in the United States: The Poetry of Thomas McGrath, edited by Frederick C. Stern (University of Missouri Press, 1988) is a sharp collection of essays. Try here for used copies.

Thomas McGrath: Life and the Poem, edited by Reginald Gibbons and Terrence Des Pres, is a big picture.

For the collected poems, The Movie at the End of the World

To read McGrath's Statement to the House Committee on Un-American Activities, among other lively works.

North Dakota Quarterly published a special issue in Fall 1982, edited by Fred Whitehead. It includes an essay called Movie Moonlighting by Mike Hazard.

For a madcap medley of meditations on McGrath, try Everett Albers' weblog.

There are two major collections of Tom's papers. The University of North Dakota ( and North Dakota State University. The original video field recordings made for "The Movie at the End of the World" are archived at the latter with the Institute for Regional Studies ( in Fargo, North Dakota. Anyone may use them to create new media. Feel free!


Thomas McGrath (1916-1990) shot on location at the Steam Threshers Reunion.
Photo by Media Mike

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