Poetry. "I have been a fan of George Looney's poems since before his first book. I know of no other poet who understands so well that regional writing is also a brand of mysticism. This is George Looney's great gift, to show us what was in front of us that we never suspected, 'water dreaming its dust' or 'how birds mimic the horse's mane.' Born of keen eyesight and a turbulent imagination, George Looney's poems do not describe the journey; instead, they become the journey. And the reader is richer for these travels."—Al Maginnes
"Like the poetry of Richard Hugo, whom George Looney invokes in so many of his own poems, this is a poetry deeply sad, the landscapes brutal, the images grim. I myself think often of contemporary balladeers such as Richard Thompson and Tom Waits reading this work, turning my mind to all that which we don't expect art to notice, attend to, mourn and celebrate. Looney has given the Midwest back to us in lines so tender and beautiful we can almost believe we are worthy of them."—Kathy Fagan
"No one else writes like the inimitable George Looney. His poems read like sestinas in disguise, the same words looping back again and again, strangely unexpected, but dragging along with them their familiar timbre, like a wedding train trailing across a barroom floor and sweeping up peanut shells and ashes. In this collection of new and selected poems, it is fascinating to track the progress of a rare poetic genius as it comes into its full-throated self—but that throat has a lump in it. Sadness is one of the only constants here—the other, brilliance."—Karen Craigo
George Looney's books include the recently-released ODE TO THE EARTH IN TRANSLATION (Red Mountain Press, 2021), THE WORST MAY BE OVER (Elixir Press, 2020), which won the Elixir Press Fiction Award, THE ITINERATE CIRCUS: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS 1995-2020 (Red Mountain Press, 2020), the Red Mountain Press Poetry Award-winning WHAT LIGHT BECOMES: THE TURNER VARIATIONS (Red Mountain Press, 2019), and the novel Report from a Place of Burning (Leapfrog Press, 2018) which was co-winner of The Leapfrog Press Fiction Award. He is the founder of the BFA in Creative Writing Program at Penn State Erie, editor-in- chief of the international literary journal Lake Effect, translation editor of Mid-American Review, and co- founder of the original Chautauqua Writers' Festival.