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Against the Woods' Dark Trunks: Poems

By author: Jack B. Bedell
Product Code: P650
ISBN: 9780881468564
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The poems in AGAINST THE WOODS' DARK TRUNKS stare deep into the shadows of Jack Bedell's native South Louisiana swamp to find ghosts, monsters, death, and flood waters. These poems also look hard enough to find cypress trees reaching up for whatever sunlight is left in the sky, and they see the promise of new growth along the water's edge. Every folktale and campfire fright here has a family story, the sparkling magic of a daughter's dreams, open fields, and jazz melodies to tilt these poems' scales toward hope. Even in the darkest of memories, the most broken of hearts, and the longest of long days, there is grace to be found. Line by line, these poems dig for it.
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Reviews

Review by: Alina Stefanescu, author of RIBALD and poetry editor of Pidgeonholes - May 18, 2022
"Opulent in its attentions, tender in its explorations, this is a book that insists on being haunted by incongruencies, awe-limned humilities, the life which exists outside our hierarchical strivings. The poet speaks to what enchants him, what he cannot put to sleep--whether a poem by Mai Der Vang, a spillway, a Giovanni Martinelli painting, or a photo of the Angola Prison Rodeo. He studies the child, the masks of modern heroism, the wounds of rigid masculinity, and the way events intersect with history to haunt the living. I read Jack Bedell to feel intimately inhabited by our humanity."
Review by: Jason Myers, editor-in-chief of EcoTheo Review - May 18, 2022
"'Can we help but squeeze out ghosts' Jack Bedell asks in his haunted, haunting collection AGAINST THE WOODS' DARK TRUNKS. These poems catalog our various violences against fellow humans, other creatures, and the land and water meant to sustain us. Poisoned whales flee the Gulf of Mexico, hurricanes shatter lives and landscapes, mass shootings become white noise. Yet Bedell poems are also occasions of revival, bringing to life beloved dead, capturing in splendid rhythms and shimmering, startling images the beauty on which we feast. 'All time is hope,' Bedell writes, and your time with this book's elegies, ekphrastics, and odes will be handsomely rewarded."
Review by: Katie Manning, author of TASTY OTHER and THE GOSPEL OF THE BLEEDING WOMAN, and editor-in-chief of Whale Road Review - May 18, 2022
"Reading AGAINST THE WOODS' DARK TRUNKS feels like sitting in on a jam session with jazz greats. The first poems are quiet--conversations with children at night, longing for another meal with a mother who's left this world--but the poems that follow quickly add more layers and surprises. Snakes! Trumpets! Luchadores! Yet these surprises, like any good improvisation, connect and return masterfully to the foundational music of this collection: intimate family interactions and griefs reflected in Louisiana's landscapes. I know I will return to the lush scenes and sounds of these gorgeous poems."

Goodreads reviews