Poetry. The culmination of over 30 years of studying and writing poetry, Zack Grabosky's BLAZES draws from the poet's journey through small towns and cities across upstate New York and south through Pennsylvania. The collection traverses a landscape changed and changing, guided by the music of insects and animals and the cairns, "blazes," and other trail markers left by past selves and fellow travelers. As rich in sensuous detail as it is in wisdom, the book feels less like a debut than it does a mature work by a poet at the peak of his powers.
"We have a gem in Grabosky—a powerful imagination and a powerful surge of self-discovery driving him to knowledge and high workmanship. Zack has maintained his local language, his great humor, and his proud affiliation with the American kids and folks and jobs and streets of towns—while his work also has a remarkable philosophical strength, a European shadow-strength—Rilke, Celan, the underneath, roots, the deathflows and biological camouflage gives his surfaces a unique sophistication and wisdom which together with American daily presences create something quite memorable and unique as art."—Milton Kessler
"Many of Zack's poems look into a campfire, a field, an attic space, a spider's web—he feels something, and can write about it—moreover, he can write about what the campfire, field, attic space, spider's web is feeling. He can move between two mundane worlds and create glory: 'years afterward / a giant mud wasp / grew inside me / and shed my skin.' Many poems include insects, vermin, birds and deer, closely recollected, and the abandoned or forgotten re-remembered. And sometimes it's just the whistling confidence of sound with sense of play: 'Mrs. Choconut poured us another round / beneath the boar head's vigilant bristles.' These 'blazes,' these trail markers made by chipping off the bark, expose 30 years of work, in this long-awaited first book. I won't say anything more—POW!—except I hope Zack can live to be a hundred so he can remember a long time how I admire him and his poems."—Gerry Crinnin
"Grabosky's poems bring us to the intersection of the beginning and the end, of here and there, the dream and its memory, voices in the night and other voices in the night. And everywhere he finds blazes. Here's one in the 'songbirds that / with beautiful voices / mock our ancestors.' And another in the 'lantern-light bobbing among the gravestones.' Here in the 'light fractured through the windshield' and there in the 'wild whoop!' Grabosky shows us the shock of really seeing what is, of finding 'the hands of the dead who have touched the things we now touch / in an effort to connect.'"—Jonathan Dubow
Review @ The Secret Bookstore
Zack Grabosky grew up outside of Cazenovia, New York. His interest in language and its ability to reveal inner life led him to study creative writing at Binghamton University. His poem-mentor and friend, Gerry Crinnin, gave him a life- altering push along this path. He lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania with his wife Tomoko and son Baizhong.Author City: CARLISLE, PA USA