A Gathering of Ways
Muriel Sibell Wolle (Author) John Matthias (Author)
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DescriptionA Gathering of Ways is John Matthias' first collection of poems since the publication of his warmly received Northern Summer collection in 1985. The book consists of three long poems dealing with the geography, geology, prehistory, and history of two places closely identified with Matthias' work, the East Anglian region of Britain and the American Midwest, and a third place that provides the book with a new and deeply resonant setting: those parts of southern France and northern Spain through which run the famous pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. "An East Anglian Diptych" explores those parts of Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, and Norfolk linked by three rivers and by those ancient paths and tracks known as ley lines which connect locality and locality and time with time. "Facts From an Apocryphal Midwest" explores another group of trails that began as prehistoric paths down which copper from Lake Superior was carried from the early days of the mound-builders. Despite the historical backdrop of these poems, both bring the reader into the present in unexpected ways, preparing him or her for the strange and visionary "A Compostela Diptych," winner of the Poetry Society of America's George Bogin Memorial Award.
April 01, 1991
5.56 X 0.41 X 8.46 inches | 0.4 pounds
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About the Author
John Matthias was born in 1941 in Columbus, Ohio. For many years he taught at the University of Notre Dame and continues to serve as poetry editor of Notre Dame Review. He has been a Visiting Fellow in poetry at Clare Hall, Cambridge, and lived for much of the 70s and 80s in East Anglia. His books of verse include Turns, Crossing, Northern Summer, A Gathering of Ways, Swimming at Midnight, Beltane at Aphelion, Pages, Working Progress, Working Title, New Selected Poems and Kedging. He has also published translations from the Swedish, editions of David Jones' work, and a volume of literary criticism, Reading Old Friends. In 1998 Robert Archambeau edited Word Play Place, a selection of essays on Matthias's work. Another book of essays on his poetry appeared in 2011 in the Salt Companion series, edited by Joe Francis Doerr. Since 2010, Shearsman has republished all of his poetry in the volumes Trigons (2010), Collected Shorter Poems Vol. 2 (2011), Collected Longer Poems (2012) and Collected Shorter Poems Vol. 1 (2013). In 2011 Shearsman also pubished his essay collection, Who was Cousin Alice?