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No Brother, This Storm: Poems

By author: Jack B. Bedell
Product Code: P572
ISBN: 9780881466751
Publisher: Mercer University Press
Availability: In stock
Price: $16.00

Over the past few decades, the gulf coast of Louisiana has suffered its share of natural disasters. From hurricanes, to floods, to the gradual destruction caused by coastal erosion, the poems in NO BROTHER, THIS STORM serve as archives of the hope and resilience found throughout the region. For much of his career, Jack Bedell has paid tribute to the people, landscapes, and traditions of his native South Louisiana. His poems give voice to personal and cultural histories that make up the fabric of life in his home state. NO BROTHER, THIS STORM continues this tradition, containing lyrics and narratives of hope and beauty in the face of storms, floods, and personal loss. Poem by poem, NO BROTHER, THIS STORM explores loss, reinvention, and rebirth on personal, natural, and regional levels. More than simple inventory, though, these poems try to recognize strength and hope with every line. Bedell's work honors South Louisiana as it gives voice to its people, places, and ways of life. His poems do their best to find the good in the day, even in the aftermaths of storm and loss.
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Review by: J. Fuller, author of THE DISSENTER'S GROUND and FLOOD - July 1, 2018
For those of us from the swamps and coastal marshes, a Jack Bedell poem often says what we feel but could not say. His ability to focus his eye on the landscape and deftly place us among the reeds is an uncommon gift, but one we have come to take for granted in his work. The poems in NO BROTHER, THIS STORM are stark in their vision and deep in their wisdom. We devour these poems the way the water devours land, and we ready our bones for flight.
Review by: Jeffrey Alfier, editor of Blue Horse Press and San Pedro River Review - July 1, 2018
With the acute perceptions of a seasoned poet, Jack Bedell's NO BROTHER, THIS STORM speaks poignantly of what we love--how place and family prevail over what passes away. Attentive to the world around him, the Cajun and coastal Louisiana of his youth and current life, family history, and folklore are impressively interwoven, traversing generations "to mingle with our dreams / for as long as the river flows." The range of these poems is no narrow playing field; each poem resonates with the wider world, engaging us through the humanity we all share. Storms take their toll when "blacktopped roads lead nowhere", and uncertain sounds in a swamp mean following an omen "like compass needles" to safety. Grace comes when a "Cold morning becomes psalm", when "there is no other shelter to offer /…/save/ color and soft voices." It is through such images, compelling and rich, that Bedell’s poems draw resilience from what blesses our lives, rendering NO BROTHER, THIS STORM a luminous, exemplary work.
Review by: Sarah Cortez, author of COLD BLUE STEEL - July 1, 2018
NO BROTHER, THIS STORM takes us on a stroll into the humid, fecund waterways of Jack Bedell's portion of the Gulf Coast called Louisiana. But don't be fooled into thinking that this gorgeously rendered landscape is anything less than the dreamscape that haunts us all--the internal externalized into tableaus full of those who have come before and those to whom we seek to give the future as a holy present. The greatest gift (and there are many) of this sequence of poems is that through their careful, painterly, and meditative aspects we ourselves become "revenant," that is, Bedell's walk with us transforms us into someone who returns as transparent with meaning and hopeful beauty as are his poems.
Review by: Darrell Bourque, former Louisiana Poet Laureate and author of MEGAN'S GUITAR AND OTHER POEMS FROM ACADIE and WHERE I WAITED - July 1, 2018
It's the tender urgencies that get me every time in Jack Bedell's poems. These NO BROTHER, THIS STORM poems lean into eternal return: a father saving things against themselves, uncles whose enigmatic sayings are finally realized, dos-gris diving for food, a dead turtle's last stretch into grace, the pelican's fight into the wind, ancient timeless wind in hair, and that part of the place making the sea grass green. Each poem here is as alive as yeast in sweet dough rising in a mother's kitchen.

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