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Young of the Year
Sydney Lea

Malcolm McDonald Series Selection

Four Way
2011 • 92 pp. 6 x 9"

$15.95 Paperback, 978-1-935536-10-9

An unflinching account of human interaction with daunting landscapes and inescapable memories

The poems in Sydney Lea’s Young of the Year range widely as they stretch out over considered, affective sentences that call to mind the heady “wail and whisper and funk” of musicians like Clifford Brown and Clyde McPhatter, the New England musings of Robert Frost, and Robert Penn Warren’s narratives and anecdotes. Casting a candid and contemplative look back at a life lived and out at a world alive with motion, Young of the Year shows us a poet who poignantly traces the intersection between the worlds of nature, science, and the spiritual.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“At a time in American poetry when the long and happy marriage between imagination and experience seems to be drifting toward the shoals of divorce, it is heartening, even thrilling, to encounter a book as masterful and deeply felt as Sydney Lea’s Young of the Year.”—B.H. Fairchild

“Lea’s poems inform and surprise the reader at every turn . . . this extraordinary poet finds an elegance and beauty that can be glimpsed throughout his often harsh landscape.”—Maxine Kumin

From the Book:


A grotesquerie for so long we all ignored it:
The mammoth plastic Santa lighting up
On the Quik-Stop’s roof, presiding over pumps
That gleamed and gushed in the tarmac lot below it.

Out back, with pumps of their own, the muttering diesels.
And we, for the most part ordinary folks,
Took all for granted: the idling semis’ smoke,
The fuel that streamed into our tanks, above all

Our livelihoods. We stepped indoors to talk
With friends, shared coffee, read the local paper,
Heavy with news of hard times now. We shiver.
Our afternoons are gone. At five o’clock

—Once we gave the matter little thought—
Our Santa Claus no longer flares with light.

Vermonter SYDNEY LEA’s honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has taught at Dartmouth College, Wesleyan University, Vermont College, among others.

Tue, 15 May 2018 13:06:29 -0500