Synopses & Reviews
A debut collection from an exciting new voice in Alaska poetry, Overwinter reconciles the natural quiet of wilderness with the clamor of built environments. Jeremy Pataky’s migration between Anchorage and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park inspires these poems that connect urban to rural. This duality permeates Overwinter. Moments are at turns fevered or serene. The familial and romantic are measured against the wildness of the Far North. Empty spaces bring both solace and loneliness in full. Past loves haunt the present, surviving in the spaces sculpted by language.
"Emerson suggests that ‘genius is the activity that repairs the decay of things. Such genius is at work in Patakys debut, Overwinter. . . . [Its] a book that makes of the hearts affections a myriad world, where presence and absence intertwine, and the poet is no more than faithful recorder of difficulty and wonder."
"In a word, Overwinter is about life. Maybe not everyone's life in entirety, but aspects—small details—are related through the eons-long relationship between man and nature. . . . There is much of this introspection and observation, and while it deals with concerns of Alaskan life there is also something for a broader readership in these poems. There's something for anyone that is willing to still their mind, listen and look."
“Pataky’s debut poetry collection, examines the speaker’s isolation and solace in the vast, untamed nature of the Alaskan wilderness. Throughout the collection, the speaker spends his time between a developed city, with its electricity and human companionship, and the natural Alaskan landscape filled with its braided streams, unpredictable wildlife, and endless illusions of light and depth.”
Hass links the poetic elements of the work song, the spiritual, of rhythm & blues and rap, and of poems written in Yiddish, in Chinese, and in Spanish. He hears the silence of the haiku in what becomes the spare and modernist. Through his gift for such brilliant connections, Hass presents nothing less than a working anthology of the New American canon.
Former Poet Laureate Robert Hass 1979's Praise, the writers second volume of poetry.
Jeremy Pataky's debut collection measures familial and romantic love against the wildness of the far north and the self. Remote settings provide both a solace and challenge where the speakers aloneness resists loneliness in full, and fully imagined, places. This is not a static vision, though; the present harkens back to a verdant but distant past. Nor is it a silent world. These poems reconcile the natural quiet and sounds of wilderness with the clamor of built environments. Pataky lives this contrast, migrating seasonally between Anchorage and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. These poems bridge the urban and rural, unifying them through an eros that is by turns fevered and serene. The book is haunted by all those the poet has loved, and they survive in the hidden places sculpted by language.
About the Author
Robert Hass was born in San Francisco. His books of poetry include The Apple Trees at Olema (Ecco, 2010), Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Time and Materials (Ecco, 2008), Sun Under Wood (Ecco, 1996), Human Wishes (1989), Praise (1979), and Field Guide (1973), which was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Younger Poets Series. Hass also co-translated several volumes of poetry with Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz and authored or edited several other volumes of translation, including Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer's Selected Poems (2012) and The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa (1994). His essay collection Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry (1984) received the National Book Critics Circle Award. Hass served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997 and as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. He lives in California with his wife, poet Brenda Hillman, and teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.
Table of Contents
Manual Labor in the Era of Delinquent Weather
We Were Explorers Once
Then to Now
Reasons for a Long Stay
A Brief History of Landing Here
The Particulars of the Built Environment
Counting Down to a Destination within Bliss
Here We Are
Fire in the Succession Zones
From Here You Seem a Braided River
Contemplation, Composition, Interpretation
How the Mistress, Distressed, Insinuated Herself into Place
After This Life
Address from a Far-off Hill
The Smallest Ice Age
Thumbnail Spring Song
Sky Behind Weather
The Wild Dead