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Requiem for the Orchard

by Oliver de la Paz

Pages: 88; Size: 6" x 9"
Series: Akron Series in Poetry

ISBN: 978-1-931968-77-5

Hardcover
Price: $49.95

ISBN: 978-1-931968-74-4

Paperback
Price: $14.95

ISBN: 978-1-937378-14-1

ePub
Price: $9.99

ISBN: 978-1-935603-98-6

ePDF
Price: $9.99

Winner of the 2009 Akron Poetry Prize

These are vivid, visceral poems about coming of age in a place “where the Ferris Wheel/ was the tallest thing in the valley,” where a boy would learn “to fire a shotgun at nine and wring a chicken’s neck/ with one hand by twirling the bird and whipping it straight like a towel.” Looking back, the poet wrestles with the meaning of labor in the apple orchards and “the filthy dollars we’d wad into our pockets,” or the rites of passage that included sinking a knife into the flank of a dead chestnut horse. In spite of such hardscrabble cruelties—or because of them—there is also a real tenderness in these poems, the revelations of bliss driving along an empty highway “like opening a heavy book, / letting the pages feather themselves and finding a dried flower.” In line after line, poem after poem, there is an immersion in the realm of the senses. The poet has a gift for rendering his world in cinematic images: a ten-gallon hat on his head in the second grade is “an upside down chandelier;” carnival workers “snarl into the darkness on their borrowed Harleys.” In short, these poems are the stuff of life itself, ugly and beautiful, wherever or whenever we happen to live it.
—Martín Espada


About the author

Oliver de la Paz

Oliver de la Paz is the author of four books of poetry: Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby, Requiem for the Orchard, and Post Subject: A Fable. He is the co-editor of A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poems and the co-chair of Kundiman.org's advisory board. He teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Western Washington University.

Other books by Oliver de la Paz

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