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The counterpointed and imagistic work collected in Gaze reveals a poet uniquely concerned with the idea of vision: how the objective world (the world of time and memory), the world of the inner life, and the other world (the world of imagination and alternate life) may be seen, and how the experience of this seeing may alter itself and create meaning. Each of the book’s three sections examines one of these categories of seeing, moving between narrative and lyric modes, between the undisguised voice of the poet and the voices of a variety of characters, creatures, and ghosts.
Swinging between moments of delicate connection (touching a girl’s wrist) and striking brutality (a boy slamming a just-caught fish against a boat’s stern to kill it as he was taught”), Howell turns these modes of vision in on each other, and the result is a collection wholly unified and unlike anything come before.
Praise for Gaze…
For nearly four decades Christopher Howell has so ably been marrying the miraculous to the mundane; the invisible world to the here-before-our-eyes; the wacky to the expectable; the meditative to the pratfall-prone; the immediate to the ghost-ridden; and the mirthful to the elegiacand marrying them with authority.”
ALBERT GOLDBARTH, author of Saving Lives
"Gaze leads its reader through a concatenation of perspectives to a simultaneously mournful and hopeful place. It leaves us with that indescribable feeling of interconnectedness that sometimes emerges from great literature wherein the particular, deeply meditated upon, expands into the universal and makes us more than ourselves."
Ryan Siemers, Quarterly West