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Cover for Otherworld, Underworld, Prayer Porch

Otherworld, Underworld, Prayer Porch

David Bottoms


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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (4/10/2018)


" Bottoms] makes astounding leaps of both faith and doubt, and does so with insight, honesty, and flashes of anger--all characteristic elements of his work." --The Southern Review

"One finds here what one expects in a book of good Southern poems: clear narratives . . . evocative images, searching irony, and meditative poise." --Library Journal

"Bottoms' poems do what the best poems have always done: They compel us to reread them. They linger in our minds. They alter our perception of the world." --Atlanta Journal-Constitution

David Bottoms explores otherness, the death of parents, and private spirituality. Images of rural Georgia confront the changing landscape of his memories where he searches for refuge in quiet places of prayer. Rooted in nature, Bottoms' poetry affirms the "tenuous ways tenderness seeps into the world" and the loneliness inherent in memory. Memory is "smoke off a damp fire" as Bottoms explores absence, a contemplative inner life, and changing landscapes.

From "An Absence"

Yes, things happen in the cool white spaces,
those moments you turn your head -
the way the trembling branch suggests the owl,
or the print by the pond suggests the fox.
Near the end, though, only one thing matters,
and nothing, not even the fox, moves as quietly.

David Bottoms is the author of eight books of poetry and has received the Walt Whitman Award, fellowships from the NEA and Guggenheim Foundation, and served as Poet Laureate of Georgia for twelve years. He currently holds the Amos Distinguished Chair in English at Georgia State University.

Copper Canyon Press, 9781556595363, 72pp.

Publication Date: April 10, 2018

About the Author

David Bottoms grew up in Canton, Georgia, the only child of a funeral director and a registered nurse in a home that had only two books: a King James Bible and a book by preacher Billy Graham. In 1979, Bottoms' collection, Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump, won the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, where judge Robert Penn Warren described Bottoms as, "a strong poet, and much of his strength emerges from the fact that he is temperamentally a realist." Bottoms has since published eight books of poetry, two novels, and a book of essays, and served as Poet Laureate of Georgia for 12 years (2000-2012). He has won numerous awards including fellowships from both the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation and won a Levinson Prize from the Poetry Foundation. He currently holds the Amos Distinguished Chair in English at Georgia State University.