gust

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“These poems rise like mist off a pond; they circle the heart and bewitch it with Bible verses and Voudou spells, too. Full of menace and salvation, of black panthers and Pentecostals, Gust is rich with characters who quote Keats and play Prokofiev but gamble and sip corn whiskey and ship out to Iraq when they’re called. I haven’t read a better first book of poems in years and don’t expect to again for a long, long time.”

—David Kirby

 

“If Yeats was from the Mississippi Delta, he would try to write like this: soulfully, sensually, accurately, with a painter’s eye, with the pitch-perfect ear of a musician, and with more than a little leavening humor. It’s all here in this noteworthy, powerful debut. The countryside and its people are richly imagined, where ‘Fishermen lift their question marks from the lake,’ where Mama is ‘Windexing the tabletop—like a dog whimpering,’ where a boy catches a ‘vanilla home run in a sugar-cone glove,’ and where a woman with a ‘snowy body, red hair, and green eyes’ puts the speaker ‘in the Christmas spirit.’ Brownderville’s fully realized characters—a country preacher, an Italian immigrant, a poetic sheriff, a troubled veteran—condense novels into poems, poems into indelible moments of grace.”

—Beth Ann Fennelly

 

Gust is at once a tapestry, narrative and continuous, as well as a collage, impressionistic and momentary. Nowhere does this book strain to hold together as a unified expression. Brownderville is aesthetically bold—inventive, often electric, in his phrasing. I expect he’s a poet we will continue to hear from, and I’ll be glad for it.”

—Maurice Manning

 

“Greg Alan Brownderville’s new book, Gust, is an amazing and powerful exploration of the abrasive intimacies and intimate abrasions of a richly diverse and ever-changing culture in a corner of Arkansas, a culture that is at once and the same time vital, messy, pious, and irreverent. In poems as various as the world they celebrate, Brownderville has taken to heart William Carlos Williams’s belief that contact the local is the only road to the universal. This is a book unlike any other and should establish Brownderville as a new and important voice in American poetry.”

—Alan Shapiro

 

 

 

gust

“These poems rise like mist off a pond; they circle the heart and bewitch it with Bible verses and Voudou spells, too. Full of menace and salvation, of black panthers and Pentecostals, Gust is rich with characters who quote Keats and play Prokofiev but gamble and sip corn whiskey and ship out to Iraq when they’re called. I haven’t read a better first book of poems in years and don’t expect to again for a long, long time.”

—David Kirby

 

“If Yeats was from the Mississippi Delta, he would try to write like this: soulfully, sensually, accurately, with a painter’s eye, with the pitch-perfect ear of a musician, and with more than a little leavening humor. It’s all here in this noteworthy, powerful debut. The countryside and its people are richly imagined, where ‘Fishermen lift their question marks from the lake,’ where Mama is ‘Windexing the tabletop—like a dog whimpering,’ where a boy catches a ‘vanilla home run in a sugar-cone glove,’ and where a woman with a ‘snowy body, red hair, and green eyes’ puts the speaker ‘in the Christmas spirit.’ Brownderville’s fully realized characters—a country preacher, an Italian immigrant, a poetic sheriff, a troubled veteran—condense novels into poems, poems into indelible moments of grace.”

—Beth Ann Fennelly

 

Gust is at once a tapestry, narrative and continuous, as well as a collage, impressionistic and momentary. Nowhere does this book strain to hold together as a unified expression. Brownderville is aesthetically bold—inventive, often electric, in his phrasing. I expect he’s a poet we will continue to hear from, and I’ll be glad for it.”

—Maurice Manning

 

“Greg Alan Brownderville’s new book, Gust, is an amazing and powerful exploration of the abrasive intimacies and intimate abrasions of a richly diverse and ever-changing culture in a corner of Arkansas, a culture that is at once and the same time vital, messy, pious, and irreverent. In poems as various as the world they celebrate, Brownderville has taken to heart William Carlos Williams’s belief that contact the local is the only road to the universal. This is a book unlike any other and should establish Brownderville as a new and important voice in American poetry.”

—Alan Shapiro