A Vertical Mile: Poems

Available
Product Details
Price
$19.95  $18.55
Publisher
Able Muse Press
Publish Date
Pages
88
Dimensions
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.21 inches | 0.31 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9780987870575

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About the Author
Richard Wakefield earned his PhD in American literature from the University of Washington and has taught college humanities for forty-two years, thirty-five of them at Tacoma Community College. For over twenty-five years he reviewed poetry, fiction, and literary biography for the Seattle Times. His first book, Robert Frost and the Opposing Lights of the Hour (Peter Lang Publishing), was a study of Frost's poetry in the context of his life and times. His first collection of poems, East of Early Winters (University of Evansville Press), won the Richard Wilbur Award. His second collection, A Vertical Mile (Able Muse Press), was short-listed for the Poet's Prize. His poem "Petrarch" won the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. He and his wife, Catherine, have been married forty-eight years and have two daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandchildren.
Reviews

Deeply rooted in the human history and natural order of his native state, Richard Wakefield's A Vertical Mile depicts life in rural Washington-people, animals, plants, geological formations, the weather and the seasons. Building on his powerful and impressive first collection East of Early Winter s, Wakefield, in A Vertical Mile, has now firmly established himself as one of America's foremost formal poets. In their memorable presentation by way of deftly employed narrative, meter, rhyme, metaphor, symbol, and diction, the poems in this new collection, once read, cannot be easily dislodged from the mind. That, in itself, is evidence that Wakefield's best poems are a permanent addition to American letters.

- David Middleton

Richard Wakefield crafts his verse to exacting standards yet keeps it uncontrived. Throughout A Vertical Mile, Wakefield shows us much about ourselves and the various worlds we inhabit, often of our own making. What he reveals may be sobering or amusing, uplifting or distressing. But, carried by a voice as versatile as the intelligence behind it, it is sure to surprise and delight us as well.

- David Sanders


Richard Wakefield writes with a rare metrical skill that calls to mind the poetry of Robert Frost, and like Frost he tells intricate and compelling stories about ordinary people living close to the land. But there's nothing nostalgic here. There's compassion, and decency, but never an easy answer. Wakefield's choice of conventional form is a wry and subtle comment on the contemporary moment, and his mastery of that form raises his work above all the chaos and fads. No, these poems are not nostalgic. They are timeless.

- Chris Anderson


The arc of discovery is what one traverses in Richard Wakefield's poetry. It may be a remembered seascape made new by the dust of familial ashes or a lost town, covered by a century of a forest's reclaiming growth. As a poet of the outdoors-one who sees and, seeing, makes new what he has seen-Wakefield is unsurpassed.

- R.S. Gwynn