The formally nuanced and wise epistolary poems in David Biespiel's new collection are grounded in friendship, camaraderie, and the vulnerability and boldness that defines America.
Roving from the old Confederacy of Biespiel's native South to Portland, Oregon, Charming Gardeners explores the wildness of the Northwest, the avenues of Washington, D.C., the coal fields of West Virginia, and an endless stretch of airplanes and hotel rooms from New York to Texas to California.
These poems explore the "insistent murmurs" of memory and the emotional connections between individuals and history, as well as the bonds of brotherhood, the ghosts of America's wars, and the vibrancy of love, sex, and intimacy. We are offered poems addressed to family, friends, poets, and political rivals - all in a masterful idiom Robert Pinsky has called Biespiel's "own original grand style."
I should stop back there
And stand on both feet in the grazing sunlight
And hear this chorus of America singing.
But I am so afraid of the testament of the delivered.
from "TO __________ FROM THE JEWISH CEMETERY IN WILLIAMSON, WEST VIRGINIA
David Biespiel is the author of four collections of poetry, including Wild Civility and The Book of Men and Women. He also contributed to Politico from 2008 to 2012.
To from the Jewish Cemetery in Williamson, West Virginia To Wendy from Yellow HickoryTo Plumly from Lummi Island To Hugo from SoDo To Biespiel from Schul To Wiman from Walla Walla To Keller from Skamania Lodge To Ruest from Winston-Salem To Gifford from Kiowa County To Bierds from the Cannery Pier HotelTo Ansel from the Hotel AndraTo Di Piero from Dufur To Farnsworth from Bar Avignon To Collier from United Flight 304 To Buckley from Berkeley To Conda from Anaconda To Wendy from the Gershwin Hotel To Smith from Northampton To Snyder from the Blue Scorcher Cafe To Sylvester from Terminal B To Gifford from United Flight 308 To C. D. from D.C. To Unrau from Union To Lenney from the Greenbrier HotelTo Biespiel from United Flight 1037To Luke from United Flight 251 To Wendy from the Crow's Nest Postscript Acknowledgments About the Author