Winterkill: new poems by Todd Davis just published

January 23, 2016

Todd Davis's new book of poetry, Winterkill, has just been published by Michigan State University Press. Winterkill is Davis's fifth book of poems and is praised by Stephen Dunn, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, as having "just the right balance of reverence, precision, and quiet indictment . . .which means it does not shy away from death, or the predatory, or the speaker's involvement in nature's processes." According to Gray's Sporting Journal, Davis "observes nature in the great tradition of Robert Frost, James Dickey, and Jim Harrison," offering an unflinching portrait of the cycles of birth and death in the woods and streams of Pennsylvania, while never leaving behind the tragedies and joys of the human world.

Winterkill seeks to address the living world through a lens of transformation. In poems of praise and sorrow that draw upon the classical Chinese rivers-and-mountains tradition, the poems chronicle the creatures of forest and sky, of streams and lakes, moving through cycles of fecundity and lack, paying witness to the fundamental processes of the earth that offer the possibility of regeneration, even resurrection. Meditations on subjects from native brook trout to the ants that scramble up a compost pile; from a young diabetic girl burning trash in a barrel to a neighbor's denial of global warming; from an examination of the bone structure in a rabbit's skull to a depiction of a boy who can name every bird by its far-off song, the poems in Winterkill both celebrate and lament the perfectly imperfect world that sustains us.

Davis is a professor of English and Environmental Studies at Penn State Altoona and a fellow in the Black Earth Institute.

Winterkill can be purchased at: http://msupress.org/books/book/?id=50-1D0-3400.

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