In Goodan’s second collection, nature is equally cruel to all, and yearning is subsumed by an acceptance as terrible as it is beautiful. These poems are ecstatic, musical prayers, finding God in the details as well as the void. Winter Tenor is a tightly wrought lyric exploration of the severities of farm life, where doom and grace are one.
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Raised on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Western Montana, Kevin Goodan began working for the U.S. Forest Service at a young age, and attended the Universities of Montana and Massachusetts. He has lived in Northern Ireland, and lectured at universities on terrorism. His poems have been published in Ploughshares and other journals. Currently, he resides on a small farm in Western Massachusetts.
“…a series of evocative meditations on what it is to live close to the earth, with wonder and humility, amidst the violent practicalities of farm life… Goodan sees the self in nature and vice versa.” —The Kenyon Review Online
“In a series of untitled, haiku-spare poems, Kevin Goodan’s second collection Winter Tenor reads like an ode to nature…considering the appearance, the experience, from different angles.” —Gently Read Literature
“These poems accept and meld the cruel and the consecrated in equal measures…For all that, the poems feel redemptive: celebratory, incantatory, rich…Winter Tenor brings us an intimate, ecstatic voice, presents religious under– and overtones, extends and augments earlier themes—and is, in sum, a good model for a second book.” —The Georgia Review
“The taut, untitled poems of Winter Tenor, Goodan’s gorgeous second collection, turn west at Brooklyn and drive thousands of miles deep into the wilderness of isolated human experience. Goodan’s language is both sparklingly particular and enchantingly repetitive…invigorated by meticulous, even primal attention to the natural world that offers ecstasies as well as heartbreak.” —Contrary Magazine
“…Goodan’s poems search for the holy in the ordinary, for little births in the body of deaths, for the light in the dark of winter….The musicality of his language resonates with intelligence and intensity…highly recommended for contemporary poetry collections.” —Library Journal
“Granted, delightedly, its Keatsian pressures, compressions and urgency, Kevin Goodan’s Winter Tenor is no ‘cold pastoral.’ No indeed; these poems choir a warm sound from the barest branches and stir the embers of dark flames ablaze. Here is the soul of heat driven straight through the roots and veins of this old world.” —Donald Revell
“We readers are lucky when we encounter a voice that speaks as if it were speaking to each of us alone, an impossible and therefore necessary illusion, a miracle of multiple visions, essential in a commonplace way only what’s divine can determine—this describes Winter Tenor‘s quintessential and most valuable presence. I love reading this book.”
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