You go forth drunk on
the multitudes, drunk
on everything, while
the lampposts sprinkle
nodding streets with stars.
Robert Melançon, former poetry columnist for Le Devoir is a recipient of the Governor General's Award, the Prix Victor-Barbeau, and the Prix Alain-Grandbois.
The afterword consists of an important new essay-poem by Hall as well. It argues against irony from a rural perspective and amounts to Hall’s ars poetica. In an encompassing introduction, rob mclennan explores Hall’s four-plus decades of bricolage.
In this incandescent, profound, and accessible collection, beloved and award-winning poet, novelist, and short-story writer Ron Rash vividly channels the rhythms of life in Appalachia, deftly capturing the panoply of individuals who are its heart and soul—men and women inured to misfortune and hard times yet defined by tremendous fortitude, resilience, and a fierce sense of community.
In precise, supple language that swerves from the stark to the luminous, Rash richly describes the splendor of the natural landscape and poignantly renders the lives of those dependent on its bounty—in cotton mills and tobacco fields, farmlands and forests. The haunting memories and shared histories of these people—their rituals and traditions—animate this land, and are celebrated in Rash’s crystalline, intensely imagined verse.
With an eye for the surprising and vivid detail, Ron Rash powerfully captures the sorrows and exaltations of this wondrous world he knows intimately. Illuminating and indelible, Poems demonstrates his rich talents and confirms his legacy as a standard-bearer for the literature of the American South.
At the heart of Robert Wrigley's new book are the fears that find us at the darkest times and the hopes we rise to each morning. These poems explore that point where the sacred and the profane come together, that place of beauty inside the grotesque and the grotesque inside what is beautiful. The laws of nature, the commandments of capitalism, and the rules of war are transformed into songs of longing, patriotism, and dissent; we are also reminded of the grace residing in the glimpse of a horse under a full moon or the preserved lock of a lover's hair. Elegiac and lyrical, playful and angry, Beautiful Country offers a vision of a country that is unflinching, demanding, and generous.
"As with Ted Kooser, Tom Hennen is a genius of the common touch. . . . They are amazingly modest men who early accepted poetry as a calling in ancient terms and never let up despite being ignored early on. They return to the readers a thousandfold for their attentions."--Jim Harrison, from the introduction
"One of the most charming things about Tom Hennen's poems is his strange ability to bring immense amounts of space, often uninhabited space, into his mind and so into the whole poem."--Robert Bly
Tom Hennen gives voice to the prairie and to rural communities, celebrating--with sadness, praise, and astute observations--the land, weather, and inhabitants. In short lyrics and prose poems, he reveals the detailed strangeness of ordinary things. This volume is Hennen's long-overdue introduction to a national audience.
"In Falling Snow at a Farm Auction"
Straight pine chair
In anyone's company,
Older than grandmother
It enters the present
Its arms wide open
Wanting to hold another young wife.
Tom Hennen, author of six books of poetry, was born and raised in rural Minnesota. After abandoning college, he married and began work as a letterpress and offset printer. He helped found the Minnesota Writer's Publishing House, then worked for the Department of Natural Resources wildlife section, and later at the Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge in South Dakota. Now retired, he lives in Minnesota.
In Jim Harrison’s new book of poems, birds and humans converse, biographies are fluid, and unknown gods flutter just out of sight. In terrains real and imagined--from remote canyons and anonymous thickets in the American West to secret basements in World War II Europe--Harrison calls his readers to live fully in a world where “Death steals everything except our stories.” In Search of Small Gods is an urgent and imaginative book--one filled with “the spore of the gods.”
Maybe the problem is that I got involved with the wrong crowd of gods when I was seven. At first they weren’t harmful and only showed themselves as fish, birds, especially herons and loons, turtles, a bobcat and a small bear, but not deer and rabbits who only offered themselves as food. And maybe I spent too much time inside the water of lakes and rivers. Underwater seemed like the safest church I could go to . . .
Jim Harrison is the author of thirty books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, including Legends of the Fall and Shape of the Journey. A long-time resident of Michigan, he now lives in Montana and Arizona.