Advance praise for Short Houses With Wide Porches

March 11, 2008

Check out what these fine poets had to say:

“The poems of Christopher Watkins are, at once, tender, shrewdly observed and enormously vital. This is a first collection that has the stamp of authenticity, of life fully lived and fully written.”

Baron Wormser (former Poet Laureate of Maine, a Guggenheim Grant recipient, and the author of many award-winning collections of poetry, including his New & Selected due from Sarabande Books in May of 2008)

“In the poems of this debut collection, Christopher Watkins carries on the tradition of the man in whose house many of them were written, stalking the moment and playing it out like a musician on three vintage typewriters, always attuned to the clear vibration that sounds unmistakably when craft accompanies spontaneity. Here are poems both tender and wild, ‘moist as rotting leaves,/ dank as garbage,/ ripe with life.”

Jeffrey Harrison (author of four full-length books of poetry, including The Singing Underneath, selected by James Merrill for the National Poetry Series, recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as two Pushcart Prizes, the Amy Lowell Traveling Poetry Scholarship, and the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets.)

“Send a blues traveler down to live in Jack Kerouac’s house in Florida, let him compose on his ’28 Underwood and tack dithyrambic hymns to the wall while Monk and Parker hold court, invite Bessie Smith, Han-Shan, and William Matthews in at the end of the day, imagine discourse-sparks and music-flares rising into the tinderbox night, and then imagine that those mad laments and ecstatic songs are coming from one voice, and that voice is talking to you quietly and thoughtfully, and all that superabundant life has been channeled into the fine excess of his music. The poems of Christopher Watkins are astonishing.”

Ted Deppe (author of three books of poetry, Children of the Air (Alice James Books), The Wanderer King (Alice James) and Cape Clear: New and Selected Poems (Salmon Books, Ireland). His work has appeared in many journals, including Harper’s Magazine, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Poetry Ireland Review, and Ploughshares. Ted has received a Pushcart Prize and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has served as writer-in-residence at the James Merrill House in Stonington, CT, the Poets House in Donegal, Ireland, and Phillips Academy in Andover, MA.)

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