It is Here!
In my mailbox yesterday was an advance copy of Figured Dark, my new book from The University of Arkansas Press. It looks so good! What was particularly sweet was the reaction of the staff at the Post Office--all of whom I know well from trooping in there, day-after-day, putting manuscripts into envelopes and sending them off, collecting rejections, etc.
They were all pretty excited; we've been through a lot together on this one.
I also had a chance--how convenient the arrival of this book!--to bring my copy to the semester's first meeting of the English Department. Doubly sweet.
Here's what the blurbers had to say:
“Oh the fine, brawling, pungent observation of these poems: ‘the smog-brown sea,’ ‘the baggies-drooping sea’; Homer would be exhilarated and appalled. Greg Rappleye revives the language and revives our powers of seeing. Figured Dark is shot through with light. ”
—Linda Gregerson, author of Waterbourne and Magnetic North
“Rappleye’s poems in Figured Dark come from an imagination without peer. There is nothing predictable about them. As Pound urged his heirs to, Rappleye does make it new, plumbing the palpable ordinary, with a dazzling diversity of images, and through a window we've not looked into before.”
—Dan Gerber, author of A Primer on Parallel Lives and A Voice from the River
“Figured Dark is a lovely book, heart-stopping, at moments, for its directness. The poems feature a conversational and lyrical plainness. Greg Rappleye fires and tempers metaphor, talk, cultural and literary allusion, and emotion so skillfully that readers can look through to the heart of the matter—the odd details of living and what goodness remains after death's insinuations. ‘What does the body want? / To be a crucible says the body,’ the poet writes. Figured Dark is crucible.”
—Carol Frost, author of The Queen's Desertion
"Incisively funny, with the mature wisdom of acceptance, the speaker of these poems is so easy to identify with because he is our stand-in, the ordinary man, the almost-innocent with his eyes wide open. On a simple nature walk or on a highway watching a wrecked semi release its load of hogs into the night's chaos, he sees comedy in the wildly disparate: In one poem, G-d is the programmer of an all-night radio station; in another the fall of Odysseus is coupled with the fall of Brian Wilson, and there is our thoughtful witness on a bridge between the two worlds, 'accounting for loss among the many, many stars.' Take a trip with Rappleye. In the darkness, you will find some light; you, too, will be held 'captive to some small happiness.' "
-Steve Orlen, author of The Elephant's Child: New and Selected Poems, 1978-2005