BOOKS

About Weathering: Poems and Recollections

In Weathering: Poems and Recollections an aging poet greets a "phalanx" of memories and finds himself amid "an epic transmigration of echoes."

At the heart of this collection of poetry and prose are three retrospective essays that narrate the adolescent poet's coming of age, his initiation into literary history, through encounters with such eminent elders as James Dickey, who was Havird's early mentor, Robert Lowell, and Archibald MacLeish. These prose memoirs also explore this poet's ambivalent relation to his native South and reveal the emergent cosmopolitan stance that characterizes his mature poetry.

The poems, set mainly outside the South—amid the rubble of ancient Greece, in galleries at the Louvre, on hurricane-pummeled Cayman Brac—ponder mortality and metamorphosis; explore relationships, especially the complex relationships of child to parent and husband to wife; and engage with cultural artifacts—a Byzantine church, a derelict windmill, Puebloan petroglyphs, as well as traditional works of art and literature. These poems of Havird's maturity, together with a clutch of early ones rooted in the aspiring poet's youthful encounters with those elders, are elegant artifacts themselves, at once rueful and wry, thought-ridden and visionary.

"What a generous and finely crafted book David Havird's Weathering is . . ." B. H. Fairchild, author of The Blue Buick: New and Selected Poems

"What a delight . . . Havird's latest poems . . . prove—as if proof were necessary—that the literary life remains a noble achievement, one always making and re-making itself." Willard Spiegelman, author of Senior Moments: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

"David Havird's poems have the virtues of a fine 'prose style'—lucidity, drive, passion . . . Also in this chimeric omnibus, prose rings like poetry, bringing the past lucently to view. This is an indispensable collection, whose tonic chord is memory." David Yezzi, editor of The Hopkins Review and author of Black Sea

"Many writers must answer to the charge of having published 'too much.' We might arraign Havird for having published too little. One guesses that he himself is his most scrupulous critic and gatekeeper. . . . What one gets from reading the whole of Weathering . . . is a true sense that, among those noted literati he chronicles, Havird holds his own. He belongs in visionary company. " Daniel Cross Turner, author of Southern Crossings: Poetry, Memory, and the Transcultural South

Read the review by Daniel Cross Turner at Literary Matters.

Read the review by William Walsh at the Southern Literary Review.

Order Weathering from Mercer University Press or, if you prefer, from Amazon.

About Map Home

In the poem that opens this career-spanning odyssey, a blind weaver, who is at once a grandmotherly Penelope and a Homeric bard, "maps you home"—home finally, as the concluding poem reveals, to the Swamp Fox-haunted lowlands of Havird's native South. Along the way, which threads through Hardy's Wessex, the Greece of Homer and Seferis, and Jack London's Valley of the Moon, we take our bearings in "elliptical" terrain, as Rosanna Warren describes the typical setting—landscapes through whose gaps emerge the ghosts of memory and myth to engage the living in scenes of infinite moment. In Map Home, as in Havird's award-winning chapbook, Penelope's Design—but amply here—"the memories of 'a dream-disheveled child' in the Deep South unfold," as Eleanor Wilner observes, "into the meditative travels of the literary man in elegant poems riddled with starlight."

Order Map Home from Texas A&M University Press and the Texas Book Consortium (email dlhavird@gmail.com for discount code) or, if you prefer, from Amazon. Do not purchase the e-book!

About Penelope's Design

Winner of the 2009 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize

The title poem, for Anthony Hecht "a truly great success in its knitting together of the modern scene, recent history and Homeric myth," finds a wizened Penelope hawking embroidery to tourists. Another recalls the death of Marilyn Monroe—how it awakened the sexual consciousness of a boy for whom her spirit became the scent of cured tobacco. An odyssey whose settings range from the Carolinas to Crete, from the Romsdal Fjord to the Buffalo River, Penelope's Design also pays homage to such geniuses of place as Thomas Hardy and A. E. Housman, in whose Shropshire a 50-year-old literary pilgrim meets his own lightfoot ghost. Often elegiac, these richly allusive poems smile at the diminishing returns of aging and capture glimmers of a numinous Otherwhere.

Email David (dlhavird@gmail.com) and request a copy. Or order Penelope's Design from the Texas A&M University Press and the Texas Book Consortium.

David Havird "has inherited the lyric tradition in English with uncommon subtlety and intelligence of feeling. His poems blend melody and prosaic, truthful modesty, creating 'that hum which tunes the orchestra of stars / to its off key.' One feels a tempered soul, part rueful, part wry, taking its bearings in poems of elliptical landscape and great elegance: 'Sometimes the footpath became a hollow-way…'" Rosanna Warren, author of Ghost in a Red Hat

"The memories of 'a dream-disheveled child' in the Deep South unfold into the meditative travels of the literary man in elegant, assured poems, riddled with starlight, richly enlivened with deep-dyed images of nature and art, and a meticulous ear for echoes both allusive and actual, in a language as sensual as it is referential. As his Odysseus says in the beautifully orchestrated 'The Poem of the Oar,' 'I snaked from the epic plot / as wisdom from its skin.'" Eleanor Wilner, author of Before Our Eyes: New and Selected Poems, 1975-2017

"Really effective and affecting poems—large-minded and -hearted, with a rare understanding of narrative within the lyric form. Form, in fact, is what is so impressive: the poems feel very formal, though they promote freer verse. Yet inside, they keep returning to their common centers of gravity, as if their content were the rhyme. Clearly they begin and end in necessity." Stanley Plumly, author of Orphan Hours and Posthumous Keats

About Hard Lines: Rough South Poetry

Edited by Daniel Cross Turner and William Wright

A collection of contemporary poems exploring the grit of work, love, and the land down South, Daniel Cross Turner and William Wright's anthology Hard Lines: Rough South Poetry centers on the darker side of Southern experience while presenting a remarkable array of poets from diverse backgrounds in the American South. As tough-minded as they are high-minded, the sixty contemporary poets and two hundred poems anthologized in Hard Lines enhance the powerful genre of "Grit Lit." "This book is essential for anyone interested in the literature of the American South! These editors not only provide a look at those poets who, for some years, have formed the core of Southern poetry, they also introduce us to a great number of exciting new voices." David Bottoms, author of Armored Hearts: Selected and New Poems

Order Hard Lines: Rough South Poetry from the University of South Carolina Press or, if you prefer, from Amazon.

About The Southern Poetry Anthology, IV: Louisiana

Edited by Paul Ruffin and William Wright

"As a territory, and later a state, Louisiana has survived French rule, Spanish rule, Rebel rule, and even Republican rule. And somehow the people and place have managed to retain their culture and character. Whether it's been the Natural State, the Dream State, or the Sportsman's Paradise, Louisiana has always been a state of resiliency, community, and joie de vivre. Poem by poem, the pages of The Southern Anthology, Volume IV: Louisiana demonstrate the variety and resiliency of a state that's overcome wars, hurricanes, and floods to make more of itself every time. The lines between these covers are as beautiful and diverse as the people of Louisiana, as rich as the state's history, and as promising as the future we're all working towards." Jack B. Bedell, author of No Brother, This StormOrder The Southern Poetry Anthology, IV: Louisiana from The Texas A&M University Press and the Texas Book Consortium or, if you prefer, from Amazon.

About Other Places

Edited by Nicholas Litchfield

"Other Places, a mouth-watering feast of short stories, poems, narrative non-fiction, and in-depth interviews, is the latest anthology from the much-admired Lowestoft Chronicle, an eclectic and innovative online journal of new writing focusing on travel and humour. Packed into the pages are stories to entice, enthral, and entertain. Marvel at the inventiveness of Mary Donaldson-Evans's sparklingly witty 'Curious in Corsica: A Tale of Two Couples'…Or be seduced by 'Uprisings at Cap d'Antibes,' Robert Mangeot's acutely observed tale of revolution at a tennis academy in the glittering Cote d'Azur. Litchfield also serves up a tasty blend of pleasing and deftly prepared poems. They include Jay Parini's stirring spiritual poem 'Midrash,' and the wonderfully clever, witty 'Shooing Flies' by David Havird. And if you still aren't sated by this literary banquet, tuck into Litchfield's incisive and enlightening interviews with three critically acclaimed, multitalented writers. Other Places is the perfect holiday destination, offering truly original locations, a cast of unforgettable travellers, some fun-filled outings, and plenty of local colour." Pam Norfolk, Lancashire Evening Post

Order Other Places at a special price from Lowestoft Chronicle. Find links there to other online vendors.