My Mojave

My Mojave


Donald Revell

“In lines that are spare and strange, elegant and sorrowing, witty and linguistically innovative, My Mojave combines an Emersonian sweetness with postmodern practice. As part of a lyric experimental tradition, My Mojave is also balkily anti-lyric, interrupting its most flowing effects on purpose. Drawing on the terms of late modernist enterprise to re-invent and re-use poetic form as an indicator of consciousness, Revell brings to us descriptions of the natural world, songlike fragments, declarations that resemble riddles, and musings on poetry and the soul.” —Brenda Hillman, in her judges’ citation for the Lenore Marshall Prize

April 2003

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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.

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Additional Praise:

“Revell is a writer of singular talent and ambition…he takes the reader to unfamiliar and strange places and, in the process, he creates some of the most beautiful poetry in our language.” —Harvard Review

“A rich and rewarding read, My Mojave shows Revell to be an increasingly important poet for our times.” —The Antioch Review

“Donald Revell’s work has changed restlessly from book to book, but its core remains beatific, a kind of poetic inner light.” —Poetry Flash

“…My Mojave is at once fondly intimate and fondly adamant about its contents. What it assumes we shall assume. To the willing reader, it proffers large and small revelations.” —The Constant Critic

“This is a great accomplishment of Revell’s voice in My Mojave; witnessing, he manages to help small details rise to their potential. Each moment of attention is rich and generative. Reading, we are taught—we feel—that ‘waters overplussed with pilgrim stutter’ do, indeed, ‘make more wilderness’ (‘The Government of Heaven’).” —Electronic Poetry Review

“With My Mojave, Revell demonstrates the great art of when to write and when not to, of what to read and when. He writes a spiritual poetry that feels utterly truthful, giving us a phenomenology of spirit remarkably free of institutions and mostly free of habit. My Mojave will leave both those who have long followed Revell’s work and those new to the fold eager to read what’s next.” —Rain Taxi

“This eighth book’s range now encompasses both open-ended sequences and songlike, stanzaic lyric, Christianity and ancient Greece, political anger and paternal affection…Revell’s deliberate drift and concise description distance his new work somewhat from the more difficult poets with whom he has lately been classed: this book instead recalls, and rivals, Gary Snyder’s Buddhist humility and Charles Wright’s luminous verse diaries.” —Publishers Weekly

“America looks, to Revell, far worse, and Revell’s own private life far better, than either did when Revell began to write; his new poetry of prophetic statement sounds just as strange, just as rich in implication, as anything he—or almost any other poet of his generation—has done.” —The Nation

“[In My Mojave,] The peace of nature is disturbed by a distant conflagration, by the rattling postures of stalled war….In tight, focused lines, Revell creates a delicate, exacting music, chimes and silences that hold you in their rhythm and explore the sad deserts we all live in.” —Library Journal

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