North True South Bright
North True South Bright
“These poems appear before us with the urgency of prayer, the fever pitch of a spell being cast, and the desire to comprehend the mysteries of language. A unique and fascinating book of poems.”
Available in print.
Dan Beachy-Quick is the author, most recently, of a collection of essays, fragments, and poems, Of Silence & Song (Milkweed, 2017). He has written six books of poetry, gentlessness, Circle’s Apprentice, North True South Bright, Spell, Mulberry, and This Nest, Swift Passerine, six chapbooks, Shields & Shards & Stitches & Songs, Apology for the Book of Creatures, Overtakelesness, Heroisms, Canto and Mobius Crowns (the latter two both written in collaboration with the poet Srikanth Reddy), a book of interlinked essays on Moby-Dick, A Whaler’s Dictionary, as well as a collection of essays, meditations and tales, Wonderful Investigations. Reddy and Beachy-Quick’s collaboration has recently been released as a full-length collection, Conversities, and he has also collaborated with the essayist and performance artist Matthew Goulish on Work From Memory. In 2013, University of Iowa Press published a monograph on John Keats in their Muse Series (editor Robert D. Richardson) titled A Brighter Word Than Bright: Keats at Work, and Coffee House Press published his first novel, An Impenetrable Screen of Purest Sky. His work has been a winner of the Colorado Book Award, and has been a finalist for the William Carlos Williams Prize, and the PEN/USA Literary Award in Poetry, and included on the Best American Poetry anthology. He is the recipient of a Lannan Foundation residency, and taught as Visiting Faculty at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in spring 2010. He was one of two Monfort Professors at CSU for 2013-2015, and his work has been supported by the Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard University and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is an assistant chair of the English Department at Colorado State University, where he teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing.
“Grounded in history and nature, this smart, lyrical first collection explores the dangers of a world so complex that no single consciousness may grasp it—however much the attempt must be made. Following historical and imagined figures as they encounter specific moments or objects (such as Thomas Hariot in the American Wilderness of the late 16th century), the poems attempt to record the unraveling of the safe and singular into a multiplicity of unknowns. Impelled by metaphor and lilting repetition, North True South Bright seeks a sense of the world, and ultimately, a sense of the Infinite. “. . .quirky and original.”
“North True South Bright deliberately avoids easy idealisms by insisting that language can mediate, but never fully coalesce with, or pierce, the external world.”
“. . .Dan Beachy Quick’s first book, North True South Bright, is by turns lulling, inspiring, ecstatic, heady, and dense.…a rapturous swell of melody and thought…One feels Donne here. . .in the metaphysical probings, the fantastic image combinations, the insistent tone. One also feels the pierce, swing, and clutch of Hopkins, the dashed step of Dickinson, and the mystic awe of Charles Wright, yet the reader’s own breath is perhaps the most centrally invoked echo. Reading North True South Bright is an experience of reciprocity; it reminds us of the elegant exchanges of creativity in which everything participates.”
“For some poets, language is a riddle that, if one could answer truly, would yield insights to pierce the material world and rupture such dualities as subject-object, past-present, visual-verbal. These poets—Thomas Traherne, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Susan Howe, Michael Palmer come to mind—variously resist our trust in detached description to evoke World as Word. Dan Beachy-Quick belongs to this tradition. Elaborating on such ancient forms as charms, invocations, rounds, his stunning debut collection wrestles with doubt’s scrutiny to find an original celebratory gnosis, the ‘Department of Attention Undivided.’ In North True South Bright, the eye opens to sing, the mouth opens to see.”
“Dan Beachy-Quick has made a book which revolves around, if it does not resolve, the problem of how close we can get to this, the lived-in world. In this he is, perhaps accidentally but still excitingly, heir to the genius of Hopkins, by way of the special geographic and historical distancing of the American experience: ‘Leaf blooms the leaf. A Native Word / For the tortoise egg buried in the beach / Our English tongue cannot open.” What Beachy-Quick does name is the pleasure, the sometimes painful pleasure, of taking the world as it is, and loving it.’
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