Poetry. Introduction by John Beer. Joel Craig's poems first reach out with quiet Midwestern sincerity—precise craft mixed with personal invention—but quickly thicken: "Let me try to lay out what I think I understand" leads to "Las Vegas / and the end of Western history." Ethical without being political, popular without being pop, personal without being sentimental, Craig sings of how we are "stuck near a river / [we] can feel the evidence of / but can't imagine." Filled with elegies to aging rock 'n' rollers, explorations of skipping romance, and studied frustration with the world as it appears (and a sincere belief that quiet hands, by themselves, can change it), Craig's book doesn't so much demand as much as call out to the reader, in sequence like an all-night deejay party, with time to dance, time to rest, time to go to the bar and get a refill, or outside for a quick cigarette, hitting on someone on the way back in, hoping to strut, step and swing with them.
Joel Craig lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. He co- founded and curates the Danny's Reading Series, and is the poetry editor for MAKE: A Literary Magazine. Author City: CHICAGO, IL USA