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Brother Salvage (Pitt Poetry Series) Paperback – September 28, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0822959359 ISBN-10: 0822959356 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews


“This reviewer was riveted by the Holocaust poems. It is said that the world must ‘remember’ or ‘never forget.’ How can that effectively prevent anti-Semitism or any other act of mass genocide? When humanity is mentally and emotionally touched to the core with realistic accounts, then perhaps they will be moved to do more than just observe and remark about an experience far beyond their knowledge. ‘Brother Salvage’ does just that.”
--Jewish Book World

"Rick Hilles should be commended for taking on the large and risky task of writing poems on various cultures and their political histories in this book. From the Holocaust to ancient Egyptian mysteries to the work of Paul Eluard, Hilles approaches complex dimensions of history in highly crafted and brilliant poems. He is successful because he gives himself the lyrical room and forms to succeed. Each poem is different, is structured in challenging ways, and resonates with the skill and talent of a young poet coming into his own and bringing the world with him." 
--Bloomsbury Review

”Shows the power of the narrative in poetry to remind us, in concise and elegant language, of our shared humanity. . . . Between Hilles’ mastery of Keats’ ‘negative capability’ and his command of language both elegant yet clear and clean, these poems and their narrators move before the reader’s eyes, engage and entice us to listen to stories that, no matter how large or small, deserve to be heard and treasured.”
--Ohioana Quarterly

From the Back Cover

"In this remarkably fulfilled first book I salute a visionary poet who has eluded the provincialism of our American Narcissus: Hilles has gathered violent glosses and ventriloquial gleams from the ruined scriptures of Europe, reaching as far back as Swedenborg, Novalis, even Catherine Blake, and as far ahead as what I had (wrongly) supposed the sealed echo-chamber of the Holocaust. Hence the sought and granted power of his luminous texts, so reticent yet so generous, their authority proceeding from banked energies of consultation." --Richard Howard

"The poems in Brother Salvage are the traffic between worlds-between past and present, self and other, beauty and horror. These are passionate acts of retrieval-deeply intelligent and superbly graceful, they bring us news of the human wherever it survives, 'alive and at the brink of shattering.'" --Kim Addonizio

"Hilles is a poet very much of our moment, one that does not seem to pass. He reflects a tension between realistic depiction even of atrocity and a countervailing decorum based on a deeply sensitive empathic gift. He thinks himself into others, ordinary folk, or near-mythic figures. His cascading images and brilliant metaphors juxtapose everyday life and the Holocaust with precision as well as pathos. Poetry in his hands is a recording mechanism aware it cannot keep up yet also refusing to overlook 'the smallest thing that ever made you want your life.'" --Geoffrey Hartman

"Brother Salvage faces up to our terrors, as poetry must do, and it has the vigor and daring of language, without which poetry gets nowhere. Hilles realizes extreme states of consciousness, and vividly realizes such common things as a jukebox that 'shoots sparkling pink and green / soda pop through its veins.'" --Richard Wilbur

"At one time poetry was praised for its ability to astonish ordinary people. Then television took over, and poetry became a murmuring monotone from the back row. Now Rick Hilles, in his first book, shows us how even life in our time can be astonished." --Hayden Carruth


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Product Details

More About the Author

Rick Hilles is the author of two full-length poetry collections: BROTHER SALVAGE, winner of the 2005 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and named the 2006 Poetry Book of the Year by ForeWord Magazine (which celebrates independent and small press publishing), and A MAP OF THE LOST WORLD (2012) both with the University of Pittsburgh Press. He has been the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship, a Camargo Fellowship, and, most recently, a 2013 Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry from the Tennessee Arts Commission. He lives in Nashville, where he teaches courses in poetry at all undergraduate levels as well as in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Vanderbilt University.

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Brother Salvage (Pitt Poetry Series)
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