In this new collection of essays, award-winning poet David Mason further broadens his exploration of Western and frontier themes. Beginning with the subject of poetry in and about the American West, he then widens his canvas to examine poets as diverse as James Wright, Anthony Hecht, and B. H. Fairchild, as well as taking up the idea of "the West" in global terms.
The title essay builds on a product of Mason's upbringing in the American West—his "two minds" about the life of poetry, one aware that he needs and loves the art, and one equally aware that he understands a world outside cultural definitions. These two minds coexist throughout each lively, evocative essay, while Mason delves into family history and his efforts to connect himself to place, narrative poets of the American West, and farther-flung topics such as literary movements, post-colonial studies, and favorite Greek writers. In each of these meditations, Mason pursues a personal voice, connecting what he reads to a life outside books and making poetry accessible to the common reader.
Praise for David Mason
". . . richly evocative and rare . . ."
"David Mason has succeeded in restoring to poetry some of the territory lost over recent centuries to prose fiction."
—Paul Lake, First Things
Copyright © 2011, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.
Read: Poet Profile | PBS Poetry Series