From Publishers Weekly
Pulitzer-winner Levine invites readers into familiar landscapes—Detroit, gritty America, forests chock-full of truth and beauty, the shaded woods/ where I go evening after evening/ to converse with tangled roots and vines—in his 20th books of poems. He continues to romanticize hardscrabble living—pumping well water, working in an auto factory—but this collection is less an update about the current political or social situation than it is news about Levine himself. He writes in an autobiographical mode, in long stanzas that flirt with iambic pentameter, while also encouraging the reader to participate as he describes An actual place in the actual city/ where we all grew up. Prose poems treat adventures in far away places (You may hear that Australia is a continent. I lived there, I know it's an island) while other poems recall Levine's past: When my brother came home from war/ he carried his left arm in a black sling/ but assured us most of it was there. While Levine charts no new territory, fans will happily get what they came for. (Oct.)
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“All the earmarks of a valedictory testament, what with its autumnal ruminations on personal history and its haunted remembrances of things past, yet Levine is too canny a craftsman to settle for dutiful curtain calls, and too much the hard-bitten ironist to fall prey to false nostalgia. If certain obsessions here are bound to strike longtime readers as old news (innocence and experience, manual labor and class struggle), the visceral language that fleshes the poems out still feels hot off the press.” —David Barber, The Boston GlobeFrom the Trade Paperback edition.