Art by Morgan O’Connell
About the Author:
Tony Whedon is the author of A Language Dark Enough: Essays on Exile, the previous poetry collection Things to Pray to in Vermont, and the forthcoming nature essay collection Drunk in the Woods. Whedon’s poetry and prose have appeared in Harper’s, Agni, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, and over a hundred other literary magazines. He lives in Montgomery, Vermont.
About the Artist:
Morgan O’Connell is a recipient of the 2014 Milton Academy Prize in Visual Arts in addition to the Gold Key Award for the 2014 regional Scholastic Art and Writing. Her work was featured in the 2014 Nesto Gallery Art Show as well as in the 2012 Second Parish Art Show. She is an artist from Hingham, Massachusetts. She will be attending Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.
Things happen in Tony Whedon’s new book of poems on a remote cluster of wind-battered islands in the South Atlantic, in a Nova Scotia fishing town, or on a misguided sailing trip to Cuba. In these narrative poems, people make love, fall in love and fall apart: hounded by memory, they flee to farther-off places, but can’t avoid the past. This double-barreled narrative brings together the geographical and spiritual antipodes in an interplay of formal and free verse that is poignant and purposeful.
“Whedon’s meditations range from the nature of romantic love and familial kinship; to the effects of weather, landscape, and Darwinian isolation on our human species; to the tensions between a brightly lit past and a diminishing present.. And whatever the mood – plaintive, desolate, drunkenly amorous, or chaotically comedic. Whedon’s linguistic dexterity, his mix of tones and dictions, and the freshness and nonlinearity of his storytelling, light up these tales of hardship and heartache breathing them to life in the best of epic traditions.”
“The worth of sons, daughters, husbands, wives, grandparents, caught up in dramas where you wouldn't think of them happening. The connections are many and the words are a brilliant weaving of beauty, craziness, regret, and sadness. There is humor and joy but, mixed with booze, anger or violence, it is suspect. Each page puts us in the middle of another world, hemisphere, time, even gender. These are masterful pieces that won't go quietly into categories, but only into our appreciation for the imagination from which they came.”
“What strange, insistent, inescapable poems, these poems by Tony Whedon, of hard love and hard life's filthy luck in a cold, seacoast country's shattered mirror of reality, brilliant as brine, laced inevitably with human pluck and bad luck. I've never read a book of poems like this, as confident and arrogant in their collective impact as a novel. The strangeness of its voice is oceanic, at once heavy and blithe, tides advancing and crashing, or receding and exposing the stench and decomposition that lies in the muck beneath the otherwise gorgeous, restlessly muscular, sapphire sea.”