In Reveille a man suffers fits of supernatural coughing, flytraps attack a child, a moray haunts a waterbed, and the prodigal son stalks his local brothel in a pair of lionhide pajamas. These poems survey their host of holy objects and exotic creatures the way one might the emblems in a dream: curious of their meanings but reluctant to interpret them and simplify their mystery. Theologically playful, rhetorically sophisticated, and formally ambitious, Reveille is rooted in awe and driven by the impulse to praise. At heart, these are love poems, though their loves are varied and complicated by terrible threats: that we will cry out and not be answered, fall asleep and never wake. Against such jeopardy Reveille fixes our attention on a lightening horizon.You're all probably aware, particularly if you've followed this blog for a while, that poetry isn't one of my go-to genres. It's something I read once or twice a year at most. But I absolutely cannot let the opportunity pass for me to brag on my big brother whose Miller Prize winning book of poetry, Reveille, comes out today from University of Arkansas press. I haven't read the book in its entirety yet, but I expect to as soon as my copy shows up (Amazon promises I'll have it in my hot little hands by 8 PM tomorrow night). That said, I did have the chance to look over a copy of the ARC when I visited and I'll link at the end to two of my favorite poems, both of which appear in the book.
I am SO proud to be related to such a creative genius and cannot wait to see what his career brings next (although everyone cross your fingers that it's something in the South). For those of you who aren't part of the poetry world, the Miller Williams Prize is a pretty big deal and well-deserved in this case. I'm going to link the two poems below, but also to his website and his readings. If you're in an area where he'll be reading, I highly recommend you check it out - and if you do, tell him I sent you so I can get sister credit!
When and where he'll be appearing
And my personal favorite poems:
Reveille with Lullabies