“The Old Hotel at the End of Night” — a new booklet by BJ Omanson

oldhotelattheendofnightThe latest poem by BJ Omanson, “The Old Hotel at the End of Night,” has been issued as a palm-sized booklet by Monongahela Books.  A synopsis of the poem is given on the back cover:

“A man is driving through the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere, in what used to be the Old Republic, the old America, and he breaks down and begins walking— through a night that never ends, in a nation that is not quite gone.”     

” . . . a true American artifact, and a rare example of allegorical vision.”        — Dave Mason, former Poet Laureate of Colorado.

 

 

 

.

Published in: on January 3, 2021 at 9:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Jared Carter’s “The Land Itself” receives its second review

thelanditself_cover7_reduced“The Laureate of Loss,” a review of Jared Carter‘s The Land Itself, by poet & reviewer David Lee Garrison, has just appeared in the online journal Mock Turtle Zine.

Of Carter’s book, Garrison writes:   “The black and white photographs within the book and on its cover, taken by the poet himself, have no human figures in them. They have the lonely look of Andrew Wyeth paintings—abandoned houses, a closed-up church, cemetery figurines, an old mill, spirea flowing over a wall and casting shadows. And yet, the poems are about people and their struggles, people and their wanderings across Midwestern landscapes. Jared Carter tells us their stories. 

The poems are as stark, uncluttered, and unassuming as the photographs. The poet does not moralize or generalize or draw abstract conclusions. He lets the people and the land and the structures that remain on it speak for themselves. He draws back a curtain on the past and shows us birds in the rafters of a covered bridge, gas street lamps it was thought would never go out, and a coffin filled with rock salt. Then he offers us a glimpse of the human context of such things. 

What we hear in these poems are primordial echoes of the land and reverberations from little Midwestern towns. What we see and experience are defining moments in lives now mostly forgotten.”

The entirety of this review can be read in the current issue of Mock Turtle Zine. Scroll down to the end of the issue.

Published in: on January 3, 2021 at 8:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

A poem from BJ Omanson’s “Stark County Poems” featured in Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” column

For the second time this year, a poem from a book published by Monongahela Books has been chosen by former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser to appear in his weekly column, American Life in Poetry, which appears in newspapers across the United States and in 72 countries around the globe. The poem is “Nowhere to Nowhere” by BJ Omanson, from his book Stark County Poems. The poem will also be archived in the Library of Congress.

The poem, along with Ted Kooser’s comments, can be seen on the American Life in Poetry website.

Additional information, including Omanson’s observations on the long tradition of poetry in American newspapers, can be read on his blog, A Bivouac on the Slope of Parnassus.

Published in: on January 3, 2021 at 2:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Two more poems from BJ Omanson’s “Stark County Poems” appear in “Illinois Heritage”

Two more poems from BJ Omanson’s Stark County Poems“The Aging Widow in the Third Pew” and “Populism”  (both situated in the late 19th century in Stark County, Illinois)– appear in the current issue of Illinois Heritage: a Publication of the Illinois State Historical Society.

Both poems can be read on BJ Omanson’s poetry blog, A Bivouac on the Slope of Parnassus..

Published in: on January 3, 2021 at 1:58 am  Leave a Comment  

New review of Jared Carter’s “The Land Itself”

TheLandItself_cover7_reducedA review of Jared Carter’s The Land Itself by Michael R. Burch has appeared recently on the online poetry journal The HyperTexts.

Burch refers to Carter as ” . . . the poet of the uncanniness of the commonplace . . .”  He writes,

The Land Itself begins on a Quixotic note, with a dog barking in the distance and “somewhere a windmill turning in the wind.” The first small town we encounter is ironically named Summit. But Summit is long gone, vanished without a trace from its hill. What remains? “Only the land itself and the way it still rose up.” Here we find the book’s title. What is left when we ourselves are gone, or have become mere shades of ourselves? The land itself, a haunting thought.

The entire review may be read here.

Published in: on April 30, 2020 at 3:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Two poems from the new edition of BJ Omanson’s “Stark County Poems” published in “Illinois Heritage”

IllinoisHeritage_2poemsTwo of the new poems from the new enlarged edition of
BJ Omanson’s Stark County Poems“Proverb of the Three Hotels” and “The Boy Who Climbed a Tree”  (both about Abraham Lincoln’s 1858 visit to Toulon, in Stark County, Illinois)– appear in the current issue of Illinois Heritage: a Publication of the Illinois State Historical Society.

Both poems can be read on BJ Omanson’s poetry blog, A Bivouac on the Slope of Parnassus.

%d bloggers like this: