What a delightful book -- delicious all the way from the cornflowers to the Clare. --Seamus Heaney
I love the trim way the poems of Staying Blue move, and the way Gibbons Ruark paces the whole gathering into long and short beats or segments, each lyric doing exactly what is needed -- whether humorous or serious, whether treating of immediate experience or reanimating memorial moments (two concerning James Wright are particularly impressive). There's a clean, lively language at work here, full of fine words ('sundown,' 'featherweight,' 'firefall') clearly relished, while those poems lodged in Irish landscapes, both physical and literary, shine with the virtue of authenticity: they see, feel, and communicate what's actually there, what's been experienced with sharp eye, responsive ear, imaginative understanding. Powered by such energies, Staying Blue stays satisfyingly alive from start to finish. --Eamon Grennan
Gibbons Ruark takes seriously the ancient and careful art of poetry, and he knows that the way you say something is a large part of what you say. Here is poetry that aspires to Brodsky's definition: Poetry is what every language hopes to become. This thirty-page chapbook may be the best book of poetry, full-length or otherwise, published this year. --Fred Dings in World Literature Today
About the Author
Born in 1941, Gibbons Ruark has published his poems widely for fifty years. Staying Blue is his eighth collection. The recipient of many awards, including three NEA Fellowships, a Pushcart Prize and the Saxifrage Prize for Keeping Company, he lives with his wife Kay in Raleigh, North Carolina.