Kurt Heinzelman's The Names They Found There
ABOUT Kurt Heinzelman
Kurt Heinzelman co-founded and for ten years edited the award-winning journal The Poetry Miscellany; he is currently Editor-at-Large for the Bat City Review as well as Editor-in-Chief of Texas Studies in Literature and Language (TSLL). He has been a multiple nominee for the Pushcart Prize; his first two books of poetry, The Halfway Tree (2000) and Black Butterflies (2004), were both finalists for Poetry Book of the Year from the Texas Institute of Letters. A scholar and translator, he also serves on the Board of Directors of the Dylan Thomas Prize in Swansea, Wales. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Susan Sage Heinzelman.
About Kurt Heinzelman's The Names They Found There
In The Names They Found There Kurt Heinzelman creates a poetry of place with an unerring eye and ear for the ways that landscape can be mapped in the twists and turns of language. But these are also poems of person, the patient registration of one's engagement with place and ultimately with its history: "the swan's eye like a / mote of coal dust, that /splinter of history." As in his previous wonderful book, The Halfway Tree, Heinzelman displays, in equal parts, a mastery of sight, sound, and intellection.
—Michael Davidson, poet and editor of George Oppen: New Collected Poems
In these wind-swept lyrics, Heinzelman reveals the intimate and surprising rhymes between place and language. From his native Wisconsin where rural routes are named by letters of the alphabet to his travels abroad where false cognates work their sly magic, these poems artfully negotiate what we know by name and what we know by heart. These poems travel; each "road spills / its cargo of hooks." What a thrill to discover this etymology of place, of self.
—Susan B.A. Somers-Willett, author of Roam and Quiver
Civilities in Time of Civil War
And through it all you were transposing
in your head that difficult Falla farruca
for cello, trying to recall where your brother sat
upright compiling his list for the Party
beneath the lamp's swinging buoy.
Your faces flushed by the same low light,
you remember how one of you brushed the other
accidently on the shoulder, and, later on,
in the "impact studies," how the victors
would unfurl, now this way, now that,
the gainsayers from the vouchsafers,
how they preferred "taking umbrage" to "seeing red,"
and then lost sight—again perhaps forever—
of how close everyone came to embracing.