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Backyard Alchemy: Poems Paperback – March 3, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lance Larsen has published two previous collections of poetry: Erasable Walls (1998) and In All Their Animal Brilliance (2005), winner of the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry. His work appears widely and has been republished in Poetry Daily, The Pushcart Book of Poetry, Best American Poetry 2009, and elsewhere. In 2007 he received an NEA fellowship. He teaches at Brigham Young University and is married to mixed-media artist Jacqui Larsen.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 87 pages
  • Publisher: University of Tampa Press; First Edition edition (March 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597320579
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597320573
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,753,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Bradshaw on May 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
Perhaps Larsen's best poems yet. On a first reading, many can seem difficult, even bizarre, but as I lived with one or two poems at a time, I was always rewarded with rich meaning and honest insights. Many have a touch of the sublime.
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Format: Paperback
Lance Larson's Backyard Alchemy is a great collection of poetry. The poems have great humor in them. He uses family as subjects for a lot of his poems, bringing in a realism that amplifies the power of the poems. Even if he is writing about something very simple like the antics of his daughter teaching squirrels what eleven times eleven is, or teaching cows to sing, there is something tangible there that makes me want to read more. The poem "Hunger Diaries" is my favorite of the poems in this collection because it talks about the incredible imagination of his son, who wants to catch a pigeon with his bare hands. The line "If I catch the same one twice, it will be like sending a message to myself" is a great example of the great minds of children. Simple things can become great in the context of poetry.

Larson's poems are different if one is used to the works of Wordsworth or Byron but they are no less beautiful. Great poetry comes through good use of lines and imagery, which Larson exhibits. It is easy to see why Larson is Utah's Poet Laureate. He writes in such a way that the reader can relate to the subjects presented. The writing is prolific and I believe that everyone should give these poems a shot. They are wonderful and deserve to be read. The language is great and by analyzing them, a reader can learn much from the poet, the imagery, and the words.
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Format: Paperback
Backyard Alchemy takes everyday life and in a manner of speaking, "pulls back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz". At first it seems challenging, but you will find the 20th read continues to bring new insights much like the first. It really is that good! I stumbled on this work and it has been a treasure...
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