“Revell demonstrates his spontaneity and his unmediated, often delighted, relationship to nature …each [poem] is a momentary conjunction of faith with language, addressed with a pellucid power that invites even unprepared readers to join in.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
Available in print.
Donald Revell is the author of fifteen collections of poetry, most recently of The English Boat (2018) and Drought-Adapted Vine (2015), both from Alice James Books. Revell has also published six volumes of translations from the French, including Apollinaire’s Alcools, Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell, Laforgue’s Last Verses, and Verlaine's Songs without Words. His critical writings have been collected as: Essay: A Critical Memoir; The Art of Attention; and Invisible Green: Selected Prose. Winner of the PEN USA Translation Award and two-time winner of the PEN USA Award for Poetry, he has also won the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall Prize and is a former Fellow of the Ingram Merrill and Guggenheim Foundations. Additionally, he has twice been awarded Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Having previously taught at the Universities of Alabama, Denver, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, and Utah, Donald Revell is currently a Professor of English at UNLV and faculty affiliate of the Black Mountain Institute.
“Like every great American transcendentalist, Donald Revell writes with a drunken equipoise among the weedy flowers and bees of roadside museums and vacant churches. After over a hundred years of dreadful demystification, here are poems that border the hereafter and revive the child’s play of prophecy. What miraculous assistance they provide!”
“Ecstasy, saints, kids, bees, ecological warnings both piano and forte, sonnets of reverie and welcome, talking statues, and a bevy of precursors join the leaftime, the ring-time, of this unparalleled collection. Having worked—in his terrific earlier books—through intellectual fear and temporal need, in Drought-Adapted Vine, Revell now shows how he also lives in Eden: you can join him there.”
“Like the bee, the trued eye of the poet is compound. Donald Revell has such an eye. For those of us devoted to his poems, we see through his eyes—not simply the repeated flower in every cell of vision, but compound more complexly: the flower in time next to the flower in eternity, wonder of the daily chore next to the awe of boundlessness. And like the bee, the poet’s toil is to keep the field entire intact. Drought-Adapted Vine is growing in this field, flourishing even as the element of its growth diminishes. It has adapted, as has the poet, who knows what he shows: that the past is at deep work in the pasture. And there one labors—not on time’s behalf, nor in denial of time—there where the grass is ‘giving live birth to grass,’ there where the holy command is to ‘put it together,’ so that the daily can remain at play in the pastoral, where the morning light still is always the morning light.”
“The bright light of faith and the brighter lights of the outdoors have never shone more than they do in Revell’s recent work, which recommends the imminent glory of every small thing…”
“Lenore Marshall Prize Revell has a rigorous yet tender way of imparting his search for the divine, particularly within the beauties of the seen world, so that his poems surely transcend inspirational or pastoral lyrics. Here he accepts peaceably what we know and what we can’t: “Hence and farewell valediction: ‘life’s journey.’/ It makes no sense.””
“[Revell] has crafted a poetry that lets him ‘live outwardly,’ embrace the unfolding, enjoy even its darkest surprises, and let go of what is ‘left behind. …'”
—Craig Morgan Teicher
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