Monument in a Summer Hat
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In James Armstrong’s pellucid poetry the drifting of autumn leaves shares space with the baroque architecture of nineteenth century England. A woman peruses a book of pharmaceuticals in a coffee shop looking for hints of happiness. And a naked woman wearing hip boots stares out of the 1940s in a photograph hung in a Michigan bar. Twilight is always moving the shadows of our urban lives out toward the country, our inherited past, where a deer or a heron waits like an angel glimpsed through the fog. Armstrong’s poems elucidate the mystery and beauty of borders– temporal and historical, as well as geographical– while his pastoral sensibility floods our senses with images of the natural world, seemingly stopping time, edifying us, and helping us–for a few moments anyway–to transcend our enervated contemporary lives. Reading this book is like diving into a deep lake. It cleanses the soul.
New Issues Poetry and Prose, 9780932826787, 53pp.
Publication Date: May 24, 2011
About the Author
SETH ABRAMSON is the author of The Suburban Ecstasies (Ghost Road Press, 2009), and a contributing author to The Creative Writing MFA Handbook (Continuum, 2008). In 2008 he was awarded the J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize by Poetry. His poems have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, including Best New Poets 2008, Poetry of the Law, Lawyers and Poets, Poetry, American Poetry Review, New American Writing, Boston Review, The New York Quarterly, and elsewhere. A regular contributor to Poets & Writers, his essays on poetry, politics, and higher education have been cited online by The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, The Economist, The Los Angeles Times, Inside Higher Ed, Poetry Daily, Nerve, and others. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and is currently a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From 2001 to 2007 he worked as a Staff Attorney for the New Hampshire Public Defender in Nashua, New Hampshire.
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