PRAISE FOR GREEN HILL
In the poems in Green Hill, Lorna Knowles Blake takes the intimacies of human life and the riots of nature and transmutes them into forms that both discipline and liberate their beauty. By doing so, she also reveals the real, the secret, sovereign of that beauty—the human imagination, of which hers is a triumphant example.
— Vijay Seshadri, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, author of 3 Sections
Whatever subject Lorna Knowles Blake turns her hand to, she displays a prosodic surefootedness and a continual freshness of perception. Poems as different from one another as “Glosa” and “The Allure of the Ledge” will find readers to admire not only Blake’s skill but the literary culture that she makes her own.
— Charles Martin, 2017 Able Muse Book Award judge, author of Future Perfect
Lorna Knowles Blake gives us Green Hill, poems both dark and lightheartedly inventive, the craft casual, poised—and audacious. Here, our twenty-first century Blake boldly converses with her nineteenth-century namesake, William Blake, as well as with Duke Ellington, St. John of the Cross, and others in musically dazzling poems set “free to feel/ the hook, the dock, the sun, the real/ experience.” What is the real experience? It is the sense of home. The title poem begins, “So many ways to remember a house,” and Blake means all abodes, from a hermit crab’s shell to a “refugee’s home/ the day after the raid.” Relationships, too, become houses as Blake evokes moments of tenderness in a mature marriage and fears for the future—though in this deft, understatedly mythic book, the background world is still shades of green.
— Molly Peacock, author of The Analyst
Moving and masterful, the poems in Lorna Knowles Blake’s Green Hill don’t just reveal an exquisite formal sensibility—they conduct passionate and original meditations on our fundamental need for form. In poems about artwork and landscape, myth and love, Blake considers the ways we give shape and meaning to our lives. And her poems are themselves vital enactments of that same urge. American poetry is richer for this superb collection.
— Peter Campion, author of El Dorado
Lorna Knowles Blake lives in New Orleans and Cape Cod. Her first poetry collection, Permanent Address, won the Richard Snyder Award and was published by Ashland University Press in 2008. She serves on the editorial board of the journal Barrow Street and on the advisory board of Poetry Sunday, a weekly program of WCAI, Cape Cod’s public radio station. Her poems, translations, essays, and reviews appear regularly in literary journals, both in print and online.Green Hill was the winner of 2017 Able Muse Book Award.
PRAISE FOR DIRGE FOR AN IMAGINARY WORLD:
Wildness and precision and passion balanced with wit—there are the hallmarks of Matthew Buckley Smith’s superb Dirge for an Imaginary World. In subjects great (“For the Neanderthals”) and small made great (“For the College Football Mascots”), the comic is rich with serious intent and gravity lightened with discerning wit. But only a poet who lifts heavy and unwieldy subjects—death, lost love, the absence of god—knows the imperatives of graceful balance.
– Andrew Hudgins (Judge, 2011 Able Muse Book Award)
In this deeply impressive debut volume of poetry, Dirge for an Imaginary World, Matthew Buckley Smith delivers a remarkable range of deft formal schemes, temporal movements, and varied settings. We encounter sonnets, couplets, quatrains, Sapphics, sestets and so forth written with a slick, delightful merging of technical expertise and smooth contemporary rhythms. The range of subjects is equally and as charmingly eclectic, from Neanderthals, Dante, Vermeer, for instance, to College Football Mascots, Highway Mediums, and Spring Ballet Exams. Mental and linguistic agility generously challenge the reader in poem after poem.
– Greg Williamson (from the “Foreword”)
“If a way to the Better there be, it exacts a full look at the Worst,” wrote Thomas Hardy, whose spirit moves through the fine poems of Matthew Buckley Smith’s debut collection. Like his blast-beruffled predecessor, Smith braves a clear-eyed look at our fallen world, mourning in elegantly precise language the sorrows inherent in “set(ting) out to map a promised land/ Out of reach and always just at hand,” but also wishing great mercy upon us travelers failed and failing. These are poems full of both reckoning and grace, made all the more beautiful for their humane wisdom. Dirge for an Imaginary World is immensely impressive.
– Carrie Jerrell
Plato's account of Socrates' trial and death (399 BC) is a significant moment in Classical literature and the life of Classical Athens. In these four dialogues, Plato develops the Socratic belief in responsibility for one's self and shows Socrates living and dying under his philosophy. In Euthyphro, Socrates debates goodness outside the courthouse; Apology sees him in court, rebutting all charges of impiety; in Crito, he refuses an entreaty to escape from prison; and in Phaedo, Socrates faces his impending death with calmness and skilful discussion of immortality.
Christopher Rowe's introduction to his powerful new translation examines the book's themes of identity and confrontation, and explores how its content is less historical fact than a promotion of Plato's Socratic philosophy.