About a previous book, poet Martha Collins describes Kevin Clark’s ability to move “seamlessly” between subjects and timeframes; she notes, “Kevin Clark’s poems perform the magic his passion dictates and his intelligence won’t quite allow.” Indeed, the reader finds such magic, the seamless juxtaposition of incongruities in his latest book. Take, as an example, “In Between” from The Consecrations, where he rocks between the “pure matter” of “simple science” while watching the “late moonlight / glow riding” his wife’s skin “as she slept,” to the haunting call of midnight, moon, and wind that dare the poet into the dark. What he finds in that “in between,” the seamless place where incongruities make sense of our existences, is sound that betrays “belief / in only the tactile.” He finds, consequently, an energy or power that, “untouchable,” emanates from her as she sleeps. The ability to see from contrary vantage points poises Kevin Clark in a place where he can lead us to the simplest blessings.
This is no forgetting, and, in Kevin Clark’s world, all things are consecrated and holy.
“Kevin Clark’s The Consecrations is a timely book about fear and faith—in particular, the many spiritual, philosophical, and familial beliefs that keep us afloat through the crises that punctuate our lives. When faced with the overwhelming fact of our own mortality, what values do we choose to consecrate? What lies do we tell ourselves, and the people that we love, when we lose those close to us? What do we hold to when resolve, and conceit, dissolves? These complex and highly readable poems, where ‘heaven’s just a wet dream,’ refuse to ignore the fact of our physical suffering even as the book finally celebrates the desires that keep us tethered to the world.”
—Paisley Rekdal, author of Nightingale
“Kevin Clark’s wide-ranging poems—muscular narratives, skillfully paced elegies and meditations—are taut, tough, and tender. The Consecrations radiates love, material and spiritual. Landscapes of memory merge with literal fields, roads, and beaches, as Clark boldly travels the globe of his life and times. This is a collection to celebrate for its intense—yes—consecration to the flesh and bone of poetry.”
—Sandra M. Gilbert author of Judgement Day and The Mad Woman in the Attic.
“Throughout the book, a powerful loveliness and affirmation for things made holy encompass Kevin Clark’s poems. Consider “Two Stories,” where a couple “swell up with their own resolve, / survivors of lice-laced coffee grounds, / puddled water,” and persist “in the community of marriage” and “become the power of myth.” Although we may find ourselves “in the whispering valley” of doubt and “dread permission” for death to come (“The Oscillations”), what arises is resolve against the inevitable.”
—Mark Sanders winner of the Western Heritage Award and author of Landscapes with Horses
“Kevin Clark's wide-ranging poems--muscular narratives, skillfully paced elegies and meditations--are taut, tough, and tender. The Consecrations radiates love, material and spiritual.”
—Sandra M.Gilbert, author of Judgment Day and On Burning Ground: Thirty Years of Thinking about Poetry
About the Author
Published by Stephen F. Austin University Press