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The Little Spokane Paperback – May 1, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Nothing too prissy about this poetry: it s coming right at you, frank and genial, delivered as a good tavern raconteur would, conveyed in the rough-hewn speech and clipped rhythms of the Northwest USA citizenry, God Bless every damned one of them. Tom Davis is working in the unmistakable tradition of poets like Stephen Crane, Carl Sandburg, Robinson Jeffers, Richard Hugo, Tom Wayman the kind of writing that doesn t get discussed much. . . . Details place names, hair color, local and personal histories, features of dogs and ceta clients, landscapes and trawlers refresh the old inescapable themes of La Comédie Humaine, birth, copulation, and death. He can be cryptic about insects and brown bears and Indians in the wrong bar, or break out a psalm-like encomium on the infinite variety of . . . skin. He likes lists, and knows how to make them read like tombstone epitaphs. But what I ll cherish most are the story-poems, so rich with that speech, redolent of chew-tobacco and insomnia, and that off-the-cuff, yet exactly observed, description of scene and character. --James J. McAuley

Tom Davis is the land he writes of: Davis has broken himself against basalt and coast from Tacoma to Yakima and beyond here, in these tight poems, a great and original voice delivers us a poetry as sparse, hard, clear, and original as himself. --Sebastian Lockwood

The Little Spokane is a great book, full of life, in all its losses and consolations. Tom Davis is a writer of fierce, unflinching clarity, and what he sees he transforms the river itself, the jest/water makes/ moving ; the lives of the down-and-out, in and around the city; and his own life, his past, observed with intelligence and honesty and precision. All these and more are reawakened, born anew in Tom Davis s living, compassionate vision. Tom Davis is a poet of rare gifts, and The Little Spokane is a singular book, overflowing its banks with wisdom and love. --Dennis Held

From the Inside Flap

Nothing too prissy about this poetry: it's coming right at you, frank and genial, delivered as a good tavern raconteur would, conveyed in the rough-hewn speech and

clipped rhythms of the Northwest USA citizenry, God Bless every damned one of them. Tom Davis is working in the unmistakable tradition of poets like Stephen Crane, Carl Sandburg, Robinson Jeffers, Richard Hugo, Tom Waymanthe kind of writing that doesn't get discussed much. . . . Detailsplace names, hair color, local and personal histories, features of dogs and ceta clients, landscapes and trawlersrefresh the old inescapable themes of La Comdie Humaine, birth, copulation, and death. He can be cryptic about insects and brown bears and Indians in the wrong bar, or break out a psalm-like encomium on the infinite variety of . . . skin. He likes lists, and knows how to make them read like tombstone epitaphs. But what I'll cherish most are the story-poems, so rich with that speech, redolent of chew-t! obacco and insomnia, and that off-the-cuff, yet exactly observed, description of scene and character.

James J. McAuley Tom Davis is the land he writes of: Davis has broken himself against basalt and coast from Tacoma to Yakima and beyondhere, in these tight poems, a great and original voice delivers us a poetry as sparse, hard, clear, and original as himself.

Sebastian Lockwood

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