Winner of the Anita Claire Scharf Award
Robert Morgan describes John Bensko's collection, Visitations, as “a book of portraits and voices, many voices, all of them vivid and memorable. Rivers speak, weeds speak, and figures from American history tell us their stories . . . Both the atrocities and glories of our world come to life in these poems of witness, lament, celebration, and the often painful mystery of love.”
In Visitations, Bensko pushes readers to enlarge their vision through imaginative leaps; his poems are visitations to multiple times and places, indwelling bodies and circumstances. He allows us to inhabit both sides of a war, to move from the Hudson River Valley to Mississippi, or to draw our souls through sheep, oxen, and shark; we are unmoored from time and place to explore what it means to be fully human.
“I sit back after reading one of these and have to catch my breath, a little shaken by encountering a poet whose instinct guides him straight to the heart of the matter . . . I rejoice that poetry this good is still being written,” writes Richard Tillinghast.
John Bensko is the author of three earlier poetry collections, Green Soldiers, winner of the Yale Younger Poets Award, (Yale University Press), The Waterman’s Children (University of Massachusetts Press), and The Iron City (University of Illinois Press). He also has a story collection, Sea Dogs, from Graywolf Press. He has been a Fulbright Professor at the University of Alicante in Alicante, Spain; and is a professor at the University of Memphis.
Visitations is also available in hardback.