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Field Work: Modern Poems from Eastern Forests Hardcover – April 18, 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky; First Edition edition (April 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813124972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813124971
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,564,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


""What a stirring and illuminating book! These are poems I'd like to take with me on a ridge-line walk, to read aloud to companions, and to memorize by the fireside." -- John Elder, author of Imagining the Earth: Poetry and the Vision of Nature and coeditor of The Norton Book of Nature Writing" --

""Many thanks to Erik Reece for pulling us back from the brink of worry, if only for a time, into the immutable beauty of the world. I am glad to be back, to rest awhile. Reece's carefully chosen poems return us to our primal relationship with wonder." --Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood" --

""This mountainous range of nature poems proves without a doubt why the planet is worth saving from human onslaught.And that nature can inspire the heightened consciousness in these poems is reason enough to think the human race might be worth saving, too."--Bobbie Ann Mason" --

"Compelled by the conviction that we all need more poetry in our lives -- the poetry of words and the poetry of sunsets -- Erik Reece has created a handy assemblage to facilitate such an outcome.His aim is not only to have us read this trusty book, but to foster in each of us a greater attentiveness to the world around us, with all its attendant sorrows and beautiful possibilities.--Jennifer SahnEditor, Orion magazine" --

""Many books claim to take you places. This one does." --Modern Mountain Magazine" --

""This is an excellent collection of poems about the natural world. This slim volume with its fine selections is an ideal model for what great anthologies should do: preserve timeless poetry and keep the reader enthralled." --Bloomsbury Review" --

""When traveling light, choose Field Work, a small book of poetry edited by Erik Reece. Wasted moments of waiting or loneliness are erased and you are uplifted to an out-of-doors church."" -- Mary Popham, The Courier-Journal

About the Author

Erik Reece teaches writing at the University of Kentucky. His work has appeared in Harper's, Orion, and The Oxford American, among other publications. He is the recipient of the Sierra Club's David R. Brower Award and Columbia University's 2005 John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism. His collection of poems, A Short History of the Present, is forthcoming.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's very pleasant to think of ecological similarities between the forest of eastern Kentucky/Appalachia, and southern China with cascading waterfalls, jack-in-the-pulpit and ginseng. By including examples of "nature" poets from China and modern poets, Reese subtly weaves an aesthetic connection. Reece starts with selections from Chinese greats and I was struck by Tu Fu ("In the stony mountain pass. / You want nothing, although at night / You can see the aura of gold / And silver ore all around you".) and our own coal craving. Han Shan (Cold Mountain), also a personal favorite ("I site here on open rock: a lone night, / a full moon drift up Cold Mountain). In the second part, Reece includes selection from modern "nature" poets, and you can almost hear James Still's dulcimers mingled with the dust. The connection to the Chinese is direct sometimes as Hayden Carruth "of Distress being Humiliated by the Classical Chinese poets", or Charles Wright "Waiting for Tu Fu" ("Immortals, you once said, set forth again in their boats.' White hair, white hair. Drift away". David Budbill, even emulated Cold Mountain, by writing under the name Judevine Mountain. This book is a perfect break from depression we may feel about environmental crisis, and Reece wrote as an renewing antidote to Lost Mountain (about mountaintop removal). Readers of this would also enjoy "The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain:, translated by Red Pine.
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By Susan Gabriel on June 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I took a poetry class where we used this wonderful little book as the text. I thought it was very well-done (though I would have loved to have read more from the Chinese poets)and the editor seemed to make an honest effort to include women eastern poets in the collection (though I would have liked to have heard even more from them, too). All in all I think this book is a gem and I am happy to have it on my bookshelf.

Susan Gabriel, author of Seeking Sara Summers
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