Poetry. Stitching a seam. Sweeping a floor. First light after working the all-night shift. These are small moments in everyday jobs, but surprisingly luminous. In his tenth book, Michael Chitwood describes hard, often dangerous labor, but renders also the quietude of housekeeping and office routines. We call this "making a living," the way we move through our days, to pay for the roof over our heads. Raking autumn leaves or drilling a dynamite hole to clear rock for a house foundation, we construct our lives. Chitwood knows that what we do today roots us in the past and becomes our future. Here is praise, as Gerard Manley Hopkins said, for all our gear and tackle.
Michael Chitwood has worked on a construction crew, in a textile mill, and for a highway department; he is also the author of seven volumes of poetry and two books of essays, including three published by Tupelo Press: LIVING WAGES: POEMS (2014), POOR-MOUTH JUBILEE (2010), and SPILL (2007). Having graduated from the only high school in rural Franklin County, Virginia, he earned a BA in English at Emory & Henry College and went on to work for the University of Virginia Medical Center as a science writer and editor for Helix magazine, meanwhile earning an MFA. For a number of years, he was a science writer and editor at Duke University Medical Center and Research Triangle Institute; he is now a professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.Author City: CHAPEL HILL, NC USA