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The Last Sacred Place in North America Paperback – March 15, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 98 pages
  • Publisher: New American Press (March 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984943900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984943906
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,902,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Haven's most recent book of poems, The Last Sacred Place in North America, won the 2011 New American Press Poetry Prize and was published in 2012. On the basis of his earlier book of poems, Dust and Bread (Turning Point, 2008), Haven was named 2009 "Ohio Poet of the Year." Haven is also the author of one earlier collection of poems, The Long Silence of the Mohawk Carpet Smokestacks (West End Press, 2004), and of the memoir, The River Lock: One Boy's Life along the Mohawk (Syracuse University Press, 2008). The River Lock was nominated for a National Book Award by Syracuse University Press. A review of The River Lock is available online at http://www.contrarymagazine.com/Contrary/Haven.html

Haven published one other title in 2008, a limited edition chapbook of collaborative translations of contemporary Chinese poetry--The Enemy in Defensive Positions (with Wang Shouyi and Jin Zhong, Poetry Miscellany Chapbooks, University of Tennessee--Chattanooga). He also edited and wrote the introduction for The Poetry of W.D. Snodgrass: Everything Human (University of Michigan Press, 1993), and co-edited two anthologies of contemporary American poetry.

Haven's poems have appeared in Salmagundi, Parnassus, American Poetry Review, The Southern Review, Literary Imagination, World Literature (Beijing), Image, Crazyhorse, Guernica, The Common, Poetry New Zealand, and in many other journals. He has a Ph.D. in American Civilization (literature, intellectual history, and American art history) from New York University, where he wrote his dissertation under the direction of Harold Bloom, and a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from the University of Iowa. He is Professor of English and Director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Ashland University, where he also serves as Director of the Ashland Poetry Press.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By WordGirl on June 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
In Stephen Haven's latest book of poetry, "The Last Sacred Place in North America" we are awarded a rare glimpse of the myriad complexities of the human heart. The subject matter of the poems range from a startled recognition of technological power and the potential for utter annihilation such as the poem "Shelter":

First there was light at the Trinity test site, then a wind of
Biblical hubris that peeled back skin, flashed
The teeth of our own skeletons. We felt at once
Amazed, diminished and afraid, awe for the cradle
Of some new revelation, our birth stars cupped in its crater.
We became the authors of our own destiny and power.

And juxtaposes that with a poem such as "Talisman" which relates death on a more individual and yet still universal level:

Then they lifted the ossuary of his cardboard coffin.
Then the floodwaters of the oven took him.

The poem then ends with these lines:

Half hidden in a continent of grass,
Marked in the service of their salute
Our errand into the wilderness.

There is a Proustian sense of remembrance which threads these poems together: a searching for what once was, which is now lost. We can see this thematic symbolism in the poem "Blood Blessing" with the lines:

Everything you ever brought to me,
Failed and broken, pregnant with new meaning,
Beauty and bearing, literature and liturgy,

Not as a man but as a man might be,
Fallen, falling into possibility.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This collection of poems by the talented Stephen Haven -- like his previous volumes -- is rich, deep, beautiful and elegant. Dr. Haven is an extraordinary talent and wonderful poet.
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