Publication Date: 15-Nov-10 | ISBN: 9781844717897 | Trim Size: 198 x 129 mm | Extent: 80pp | Format: Paperback
UK & International Distribution: | Publishing Status: Active
This is a terse, tough début by an award-winning American poet with punch in the language. What you find here is the grist of life – death, love, sex, departure – honed by a voice obsessed with the gravity, fear and the humour of being human. Van Winkle's understated, plain spoken, narrators are as diverse as the America they live in – the lonely night nurse, the conflicted son of a preacher, and the cross-country runner – are all ill at ease in the world. Through road kill, September 11th, and death row they address their own bitter faults with noir-like melancholy, seeking redemption and absolution.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
My 100-Year-Old Ghost ; Thirteen ; Cassella: The Pastor's Son ; Hunter Boy & Girls at the Stream ; I Was a Fat Boy ; Tomorrow the Red Birds ; Everybody Always Talking About Jesus ; Night Nurse ; Under Hotel Sheets ; The Grave-tender ; The Water is Cold ; Gasoline ; They Will Go On ; Oregon Trail ; The Apartment ; The First Time I Touched Her ; Our Door, After a Turbulence ; Knots ; Stain; Babel ; The Slip (pt. 2) ; Bluegrass ; The Day He Went to War ; Retrieving the Dead ; Necessary Astronomy ; The Flood ; They Tore The Bridge Down a Year Later ; Ode for a Rain from Death Row ; I Got Out When It All Went Down ; Open the Connections, She Says. ; Last Night, I Should Have Driven Straight Home ; Waiting for the Ocean; Also, it is Lambing Season ; Unfinished Rooms ; And Table, You are Made of Wood ; Notes
PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK
“Ryan Van Winkle is a straight-talker with a good heart. This collection cuts through the fluff and gets to me, these poems are like hearing what you already know to be the truth.” —Withered Hand
“These are thrilling poems in a confident and rich collection.” —
“RVW's poems are rooted in the detail of daily lives and personal histories, yet their richly sensual physical reality is like ice, glittering beautifully over a void.” —
“This luminous collection begins with the workings of the author’s ghost and ends on a bar stool contemplation of days lived and quietly lost. In between is all the richness and wonder of things. ” —
“Tensions and exchanges between the generations, together with a fearless scrutiny of the self, distinguish this driven and forceful collection, where almost every poem happens in the immediacy of the present tense.” —
“Ryan Van Winkle's poems are not for the faint-hearted. I like his long lines and vivid descriptions, crammed yet terse, making rough, tough, sad, spirited word-life. His style suits the subject-matter. This poet is indeed ‘Orion tightening his belt'.” —
Ryan Van Winkle is Reader in Residence at the Scottish Poetry Library. He runs a monthly “Literary Cabaret” called The Golden Hour and is an Editor at Forest Publications. He lives in Edinburgh but was born and spent most of his life in America. His work has appeared in New Writing Scotland, The American Poetry Review, AGNI and Northwords Now and The Oxford Poet series. He has won Salt's Crashaw Prize and been shortlisted for the Bridport and Ver Poetry Prizes.