LIBRARY JOURNAL STARRED REVIEW FOR 'VOICES, PLACES'
Posted February 07, 2018 by Mara Brandsdorfer
David Mason, Library Journal, Voices Places
From Library Journal:
In this profoundly curious collection, poet Mason (Davey McGravy, Ludlow) has gathered a selection of criticism that attempts to link the importance of place with the development of the poet's voice. Though efforts toward that end are of some interest, what makes this grand work of criticism is Mason's own voice. The former poet laureate of Colorado displays a serious delight in contemplating the importance of geographic place on a poet or author's work. But the book's real value is its curiosity and urgent desire to explore the artist and the art. Mason reveals a glorious passion for literature, as well as an almost Whitmanesque openness to the ideas and emotions that inspire creative acts at all levels. Included in this delightful collection are essays about some of modern literature's more famous exiles: Joseph Conrad, Ezra Pound, and W.H. Auden among them, as well as such travelers as Herodotus, Omar Khayyam, Bruce Chatwin, and writers linked inextricably to place: Ernest Hemingway, Robinson Jeffers, and Wallace Stegner. The most interesting piece is Mason's resurrection of the all but lost poet Belle Turnbull and her verse-novel Goldboat, which he calls an example of "populist modernism," that is "like so many significant poems, an eccentricity." VERDICT: Highly recommended for poetry and literary studies collections.--Herman Sutter, St. Agnes Academy, Houston