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Jim Boatwright, a.k.a. "the Colonel," was a professor at Washington and Lee University and editor of the literary magazine Shenandoah. Merrill had gotten to know Boatwright in Athens, although he also lived in Key West. Like Merrill, Boatwright died…

"Tony: Ending the Life," published in A Scattering of Salts, is an "expansive elegy for his friend" (Tony Parigory, who died in summer 1993 of AIDS), "and (it is all but explicit) himself." Merrill had been largely silent about his AIDS diagnosis but…
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