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On Foot, in Flames (Pitt Poetry) Paperback – April 1, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Following a trajectory from apocalypse to redemption, Story Line press founder Robert McDowell's third collection invites readers to go "into the writing where anything/ Can happen." On Foot, in Flames is filled with "a sweet sighing/ From the souls of trees" and "recollections of the days when you/ Surprised yourself with competence, even grace." McDowell appeals to grace in part as a response to violence, as in his depiction of working in a slaughterhouse "Stitched into gloves and apron,/ Lye-spattered, soaked with grease,/ I feed my machine 1,200 hides a day./ Sometimes I think this was the neck, this the tail" or in three blank-verse monologues that witness, among other things, violence against women.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Story Line is the indicative name of the small press McDowell launched 18 years ago to publish new narrative, formal verse. His own long poems tell stories, and his short ones are vignettes that pique the reader's narrative imagination. His new poems constitute quite an advance beyond The Diviners (1995), his previous book of poetry, a long narrative, engaging but sketchy in characterization and rather bleached in description. These are more vivid, meatier poems. The longish "Sisters" is an all-too-realistic cognate of the Hollywood feminist fantasy Thelma and Louise; in it, murder by a woman answers long-standing personal provocation instead of abstract "women's rage." The longer "Red Foxes" tells an everyday tragedy--loss of the family farm by a couple with a school-age daughter--illuminated by flashes of subdued nature mysticism and a bleakly consoling encounter as the family drives away at the end. The longest poem, "The Pact," a slightly ghoulish story of rural adultery, shows McDowell venturing artfully on the terrain of the dour twentieth-century narrative master, Robinson Jeffers. Very impressive. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: Pitt Poetry
  • Paperback: 89 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press; First Edition edition (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822957833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822957836
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.1 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,092,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert McDowell, The Poetry Mentor, believes that everyone is born with a soul-poem, the prayer-song that awakens each hero's journey, tells each person's unique story, and connects one to divinity. He navigates his life through poetry, and he teaches others to do the same.

Author/editor/translator of ten books of poetry and prose, McDowell has said of his work, "I don't preach, promote one religion over another, psychoanalyze, prescribe drugs, or promise you wealth in (pick your number) easy steps. I can show you how writing poetry and journaling enriches your family life, relationships, and job performance. I can show you how fun writing can be. If you have a specific project you'd like to do (a book of poetry, stories, memoir, family history, essays), I can draw on my experience as a publisher and editor of 250 books to get it done. I teach workshops that benefit everyone--beginners and longtime authors. I'll read your poems and listen to your stories. I'll give honest feedback and compassionate encouragement. I'll stick with you."

McDowell is a sought-after public speaker on a variety of topics from Neurotheology, the hero's journey, and the soul-poem of work to the guide of the spirit horse and living a life of integrity and awareness. He has led workshops at Esalen, Kripalu, Pine Manor Retreat Center, California Poets-in-the-Schools, and many universities and writing conferences here and abroad. He created the community outreach program, The Rural Readers Project, and was co-founder of Story Line Press, which he led as director and editor for twenty-two years.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By adead_poet@hotmail.com on April 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
McDowell's latest collection shows his skill as a story teller. There are both lyric verse and narratives in this collection, but the narratives are the true gems here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 17, 2002
Format: Paperback
Robert McDowell, whose Quiet Money and The Diviners showed him to be a master of narrative poetry, reveals his lyric gift in this new, long-awaited collection.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Must give this book an outstanding review. The author is so talented and draws a person in to the point you cannot put the book down..BRAVO ROBERT
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