Almanac: Poems (Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets)

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9780691159195: Almanac: Poems (Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets)
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Almanac is a collection of lyrical and narrative poems that celebrate, and mourn the passing of, the world of the small family farm. But while the poems are all involved in some way with the rural Midwest, particularly with the people and land of the northwestern Illinois dairy farm where Austin Smith was born and raised, they are anything but merely regional. As the poems reflect on farm life, they open out to speak about childhood and death, the loss of tradition, the destruction of the natural world, and the severing of connections between people and the land.


This collection also reflects on a long poetic apprenticeship. Smith's father is a poet himself, and Almanac is in part a meditation about the responsibility of the poet, especially the young poet, when it falls to him to speak for what is vanishing. To quote another Illinois poet, Thomas James, Smith has attempted in this book to write poems "clear as the glass of wine / on [his] father's table every Christmas Eve." By turns exhilarating and disquieting, this is a remarkable debut from a distinctive new voice in American poetry.
______



From Almanac:
THE MUMMY IN THE FREEPORT ART MUSEUM


Austin Smith
?


Amongst the masterpieces of the small-town
Picassos and Van Goghs and photographs
of the rural poor and busts of dead Greeks
or the molds of busts donated by the Art
Institute of Chicago to this dying
town's little museum, there was a mummy,
a real mummy, laid out in a dim-lit
room by himself. I used to go
to the museum just to visit him, a pharaoh
who, expecting an afterlife
of beautiful virgins and infinite food
and all the riches and jewels
he'd enjoyed in earthly life,
must have wondered how the hell
he'd ended up in Freeport, Illinois.
And I used to go alone into that room
and stand beside his sarcophagus and say,
"My friend, I've asked myself the same thing."

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About the Author:

Austin Smith was born in the rural Midwest. Most recently, he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in fiction at Stanford University.

From Publishers Weekly:

I return to the Midwest as light/ returns to a black hole, Smith begins one poem: most of his lucid debut describes the built environment, harsh tasks, enduring attachments, familiar animals, and generations of people around the Illinois dairy farm where Smith grew up, along with the trembling light/ the granaries can barely contain. Smith also writes prose fiction, and his poems have the efficiencies and the virtues of realist prose: he sees how The boys become their fathers,/ promise one day they'll take/ a day off; how a large-animal veterinarian talks. High school basketball as he cinches/ the chains tight around the white forelegs,/ just above the pinkish hooves; how a toothless roofer mourns his son, how to euthanize a horse—If you have kids, tell them/ what's going to happen/ sometime in the afternoon. Smith's verbal goals—nothing fancy, all things plainly told—have obvious affinities with Richard Hugo and Philip Levine, and they fit Smith's plain, Plains-centered, mostly masculine subjects. His poems about his own family can disintegrate into all-too-plain reminiscence, feel all too close to realistic prose. At the same time, those that work as self-contained, compact stories will stick in the mind for a while. (Oct.)

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9780691159188: Almanac: Poems (Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets)

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ISBN 10:  0691159181 ISBN 13:  9780691159188
Publisher: Princeton University Press, 2013
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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Almanac is a collection of lyrical and narrative poems that celebrate, and mourn the passing of, the world of the small family farm. But while the poems are all involved in some way with the rural Midwest, particularly with the people and land of the northwestern Illinois dairy farm where Austin Smith was born and raised, they are anything but merely regional. As the poems reflect on farm life, they open out to speak about childhood and death, the loss of tradition, the destruction of the natural world, and the severing of connections between people and the land. This collection also reflects on a long poetic apprenticeship. Smith's father is a poet himself, and Almanac is in part a meditation about the responsibility of the poet, especially the young poet, when it falls to him to speak for what is vanishing. To quote another Illinois poet, Thomas James, Smith has attempted in this book to write poems "clear as the glass of wine / on [his] father's table every Christmas Eve." By turns exhilarating and disquieting, this is a remarkable debut from a distinctive new voice in American poetry.______ From Almanac: THE MUMMY IN THE FREEPORT ART MUSEUM Austin Smith Amongst the masterpieces of the small-town Picassos and Van Goghs and photographs of the rural poor and busts of dead Greeks or the molds of busts donated by the Art Institute of Chicago to this dying town's little museum, there was a mummy, a real mummy, laid out in a dim-lit room by himself. I used to go to the museum just to visit him, a pharaoh who, expecting an afterlife of beautiful virgins and infinite food and all the riches and jewels he'd enjoyed in earthly life, must have wondered how the hell he'd ended up in Freeport, Illinois. And I used to go alone into that room and stand beside his sarcophagus and say, "My friend, I've asked myself the same thing.". Seller Inventory # BTE9780691159195

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Almanac is a collection of lyrical and narrative poems that celebrate, and mourn the passing of, the world of the small family farm. But while the poems are all involved in some way with the rural Midwest, particularly with the people and land of the northwestern Illinois dairy farm where Austin Smith was born and raised, they are anything but merely regional. As the poems reflect on farm life, they open out to speak about childhood and death, the loss of tradition, the destruction of the natural world, and the severing of connections between people and the land. This collection also reflects on a long poetic apprenticeship. Smith s father is a poet himself, and Almanac is in part a meditation about the responsibility of the poet, especially the young poet, when it falls to him to speak for what is vanishing. To quote another Illinois poet, Thomas James, Smith has attempted in this book to write poems clear as the glass of wine / on [his] father s table every Christmas Eve. By turns exhilarating and disquieting, this is a remarkable debut from a distinctive new voice in American poetry. From Almanac: THE MUMMY IN THE FREEPORT ART MUSEUM Austin Smith Amongst the masterpieces of the small-town Picassos and Van Goghs and photographs of the rural poor and busts of dead Greeks or the molds of busts donated by the Art Institute of Chicago to this dying town s little museum, there was a mummy, a real mummy, laid out in a dim-lit room by himself. I used to go to the museum just to visit him, a pharaoh who, expecting an afterlife of beautiful virgins and infinite food and all the riches and jewels he d enjoyed in earthly life, must have wondered how the hell he d ended up in Freeport, Illinois. And I used to go alone into that room and stand beside his sarcophagus and say, My friend, I ve asked myself the same thing. Seller Inventory # AAH9780691159195

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Almanac is a collection of lyrical and narrative poems that celebrate, and mourn the passing of, the world of the small family farm. But while the poems are all involved in some way with the rural Midwest, particularly with the people and land of the northwestern Illinois dairy farm where Austin Smith was born and raised, they are anything but merely regional. As the poems reflect on farm life, they open out to speak about childhood and death, the loss of tradition, the destruction of the natural world, and the severing of connections between people and the land. This collection also reflects on a long poetic apprenticeship. Smith s father is a poet himself, and Almanac is in part a meditation about the responsibility of the poet, especially the young poet, when it falls to him to speak for what is vanishing. To quote another Illinois poet, Thomas James, Smith has attempted in this book to write poems clear as the glass of wine / on [his] father s table every Christmas Eve. By turns exhilarating and disquieting, this is a remarkable debut from a distinctive new voice in American poetry. From Almanac: THE MUMMY IN THE FREEPORT ART MUSEUM Austin Smith Amongst the masterpieces of the small-town Picassos and Van Goghs and photographs of the rural poor and busts of dead Greeks or the molds of busts donated by the Art Institute of Chicago to this dying town s little museum, there was a mummy, a real mummy, laid out in a dim-lit room by himself. I used to go to the museum just to visit him, a pharaoh who, expecting an afterlife of beautiful virgins and infinite food and all the riches and jewels he d enjoyed in earthly life, must have wondered how the hell he d ended up in Freeport, Illinois. And I used to go alone into that room and stand beside his sarcophagus and say, My friend, I ve asked myself the same thing. Seller Inventory # AAH9780691159195

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Book Description Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2013. Softcover. Condition: New. 80 pages. Softcover. New book. POETRY. A collection of lyrical and narrative poems that celebrate, and mourn the passing of, the world of the small family farm. (Key Words: Austin Smith, Poetry, Family Farms). Paul Muldoon's Princeton Series of Contemporary Po. book. Seller Inventory # 79674X1

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