In this book, Scot Siegel’s poems have an ambidextrous quality, ready to pivot deftly from history to imagined history, from biography to prophecy. His is a voice rinsed clear by desert winds, ready to enter any story and make it first person – for the writer, for the reader. He can claim at one point “no pretense...no history, no trajectory...,” and yet his imagination honors history, invents history, and makes history matter, gives it important work to do. “I want to go down in history and bring back a future worth remembering.” These poems will convey you to resonant places in your life.
—Kim Stafford, Lewis and Clark College; Oregon Book Award recipient for 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared
With grace, skill, and compassion, Scot Siegel’s poems create a specificity of time and place that rises above the specific. Whether he writes of a young school teacher back in 1928 Summer Lake or a wolf traveling unseen across all of present-day Oregon, the poet guides us to those sad and beautiful places deep in the human heart.
—Penelope Scambly Schott; Oregon Book Award recipient for A is for Anne: Mistress Hutchinson Disturbs the Commonwealth
Scot Siegel’s poetry very much reminds me of the poetry of Stephen Crane, the author of The Red Badge of Courage. This is to say that his poetry is precise, elliptical, vernacular, dramatic, anchored in narrative and—most important of all!—understandable to readers such as myself who like to understand what they are reading rather than be intimidated by obscurity.
—Kevin Starr, California State Librarian Emeritus, and Professor of History, Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California
Scot Siegel has inherited the tradition of William Stafford so deeply and profoundly he has remade it afresh. From strangers to friends, he gathers the proofs of how we think we understand our lives and deeply observes the world’s ecologies of landscape and love. And just as Scot Siegel praises the good bones of a good home, we too admire the good bones of the good poetry he offers us, over and again, as a deeply clarifying solace.
—David Biespiel, recipient of the Oregon Book Award for The Book of Men and Women