Fast Break to Line Break
Poets on the Art of Basketball
By Todd Davis (Editor)
(Michigan State University Press, Paperback, 9781611860351, 234pp.)
Publication Date: February 2012
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If baseball is the sport of nostalgic prose, basketball’s movement, myths, and culture are truly at home in verse. In this extraordinary collection of essays, poets meditate on what basketball means to them: how it has changed their perspective on the craft of poetry; how it informs their sense of language, the body, and human connectedness; how their love of the sport made a difference in the creation of their poems and in the lives they live beyond the margins. Walt Whitman saw the origins of poetry as communal, oral myth making. The same could be said of basketball, which is the beating heart of so many neighborhoods and communities in this country and around the world. On the court and on the page, this “poetry in motion” can be a force of change and inspiration, leaving devoted fans wonderstruck.
Todd Davis is the author of four books of poetry, most recently The Least of These, and his poems have appeared in such journals and magazines as Poetry Daily, North American Review, The Gettysburg Review, Shenandoah, Arts & Letters, and The Iowa Review.
Fast Break to Line Break is a vibrant reminder that we human beings take nothing quite so seriously as we do our games. What joy to hear these remarkable writers speak so passionately about a metal rim, an arcing ball, and the countless lessons learned on and off the court. Nothing but net, here.—Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic & Desire
The resplendent prose skirmishing in Fast Break to Line Break wrests verse from the mitts of baseball’s ham-handed mutts and delivers poetry to another genre—basketball’s articulated fingertips where the spin is spun into the english on the English.—Michael Martone, author of Four for a Quarter