Poetry. Chris Keaveney's debut poetry collection is a litany of the almost, "What the leaves in the bottom of the cup / should have said, / had we but waited for them to settle." But if he often writes of arriving late, of stopping just short, of ideals nearly believed in, of songs learned save for a single chord, there is nothing left wanting in his language, which is exquisitely precise, full of catch-your-breath moments. Through these deceptively gently poems we learn to pay attention to the details that unmask the mysteries, like a grandfather who knows "the difference between lacquer and varnish", or "the way / rain clung to pine that morning / like a drunken lover's / apology", and to arrive at what is for each of us — as in the closing word in the book — "precious." There is much wisdom on offer here, but none better than the reminder that "The only promises that matter. / are the ones we make to ourselves."
Christopher T. Keaveney received his undergraduate degree in English from Manhattan College and his MA in Japanese Language and Literature and PhD in Comparative Literature from Washington University in St. Louis. He also pursued graduate studies at Tsukuba University in Ibaraki, Japan and at Fudan University in Shanghai and taught abroad in American Samoa, Japan, and China. Keaveney currently teaches Japanese language and East Asian literature and film courses at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon and is the author of three books about Japanese culture and Sino-Japanese literary relations. His poetry has appeared in many literary journals, and several of his English language haiku have appeared in the Mainichi Daily News. He lives in Portland with his wife Shigeko and his daughters Bridget and Erica.Author City: MCMINNVILLE, OR USA