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Thomas Reiter

Eastern Washington University
1995 • 64 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Poetry / Poetry - American

$12.50 Paperback, 978-0-910055-20-8
$23.00 Hardcover, 978-0-910055-19-2

A collection of poems by Thomas Reiter.

As they provide us with various versions of a history of their place, these poems resound with the rumble of boxcars, the slap of the river currents against the steel hulls of barges, the clatter of cicadas above the whisper of bluestem grass, the quiet voices of grandfather, father and son across the generations, and their dialogues with grandmother, mother, daughter.

Here, from the graves and ashes of the sodbusters, riverboat crews, and railroadmen who populated these vast midland spaces, their themes of angry disillusion, terror in the face of overpowering elemental forces, and ironic resignation to tragic destiny, come to us in language as unmistakable as smoke or dust on the ineluctable prairie wind.

The forms of Thomas Reiter's poems, their rhythms and language, deliver an unerring sense of history's inevitabilities, asking us to witness the bleak lives of the family captured on the photographer's plate in 1874, and the pensioned railroad carpenter's fate, and the peripeteia of the class bully, "first of us to die."

Every version of Thomas Rieter's Midwest history—social, natural, economic, personal—derives its authority from the extraordinary wealth of sharply observed, sensuous, detailed imagery, which alerts even the casual reader to the significance of what these various voices, given a choral unity by the poet's art, are saying to us.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

THOMAS REITER is a native of Iowa, where he was educated at Loras College. He attended the University of Virginia on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and received his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts. Since 1968, he has been on the English faculty at Monmouth College in New Jersey, where he has held the Wayne D. McMurray Chair in the Humanities since 1985.

Crossovers is his second book-length collection of poems; River Route appeared from Cedar Creek Press, Oklahoma, in 1977. He has also published four chapbooks, poems from which are included in these pages. He has contributed poems to more than a dozen anthologies, including River Poems, 1992; A Good Man: Fathers and Sons in Poetry and Prose, ed. Irv Broughton, Fawcett, 1993; and Sweet Nothings: Rock and Roll in American Poetry, ed. Jim Elledge, Indiana University Press, 1994. His poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in leading periodicals, and he has presented readings from his work at venues throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean. He is Poetry Editor of the Cimarron Review.

He lives in Neptune, New Jersey, with his wife, Jo Nell, and two children, Peter and Alicia.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 12:10:03 -0500