Doug Ramspeck's award-winning 9th book takes the fierce attachments and the violence of boyhood and transforms them to tenderness and a transcendent vision.
Gritty poems of boyhood alternate with explorations of the "other," worlds where mother and sister orbit so differently, and later a marriage built of tenderness, not rage. Harsh honesty charges these poems--both with pure electricity and with the mission to find escape from violence, to find how to bear chaos and grief. The brothers' ordinary roughhousing is shadowed by the violence of their family life, but something pure does survive and flourish, until "we slept / at night with the breaths of the marriage around us."
Doug Ramspeck is the author of eight previous collections of poetry, one collection of short stories, and a novella. His most recent, Book of Years (2021), is from Cloudbank Books. Individual poems have appeared in The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Slate, Missouri Review, and many other literary journals. His short story "Balloon" was listed as a Distinguished Story for 2018 in The Best American Short Stories.