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On Gospel Night: 'Few poets pack a line like Waters' -Poetry International

GospelNight Michael Waters' Gospel Night (BOA, 2011) has received recent attention and much praise from Poetry International.

“In lines that are often metrically formal," says reviewer Michael Broek, "there is often a quite wild range of emotion, from the overtly sexual to the politically conscious, the plaintively domestic to the brashly cosmopolitan. This is highly energized verse, ‘Gospel Night’ suggesting the confluence of the putatively sacred with all that happens ‘at night’ – nightmares, porn movies, ghosts of dead heroes rising.”

Much of the review focuses on the controlled structure of Waters' poems, contrasted with the content: “The book opens with a crane, returning to its nest, a soul in search of a home, and this theme is carried subtly throughout, the rhythmic line often working in opposition to the subject matter, so that a poem about dildos, for instance, is harnessed by the formality of the verse. …The metrics here force a condensation of sound and sense that seems, somewhat paradoxically, unforced. ...In Gospel Night… Waters continues to push his work forward, enlarging our sense of what is possible each time.

Few poets pack a line like Waters.”

Gospel Night is available at the BOA Bookstore.

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