Synopses & Reviews
In Thomas Centolella's newest book, he asserts the need "to make peace / with the indeterminate"—a journey that leads him from the tenuous nature of human intimacy into philosophical considerations from the East and the West. The "Middle Way" of the title derives from both Buddha and Dante: on one hand it's the middle ground between the extremes of asceticism and self-indulgence, on the other it's an Inferno-like overview of middle age.
Against the background of daily life in San Francisco, Centolella examines the complications of love in its various incarnations: the deviousness of romance; the necessity for, and limits of, compassion; and ultimately, the "quality of attention and intention" which sustains the indefatigable possibility at the center of the search for "the Other."
In a style that ranges from long-lined, highly detailed and conversation narratives, to shorter lyrical ruminations, to the distilled, quiet utterances of haiku, Centolella presents the flow of a consciousness in flux—solitary and engaged, intimate with both the ephemeral and enduring—but always in wonder at its own sustenance.
From View #1: West
Starting out, my heart
was only human size. So how
did this world come to fit
so beautifully into it?
Thomas Centolella's first book Terra Firma was chosen by Denise Levertov for the National Poetry Series, and won the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award and the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award. A recipient of the Lannan Literary Fellowship, this is his third book of poetry. He lives in San Francisco.
A new collection by thewinner of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award.