Books Published by Silverfish Review Press
Paul Hunter has lent a hand where it was needed — whether as teacher, performer, grassroots arts activist, worker on the land, or shade-tree mechanic. For the past 14 years he has published fi ne letterpress poetry under the imprint of Wood Works, currently including 24 books and 55 broadsides. His own poems have appeared in Alaska Fisherman’s Journal, Iowan Review, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, The Small Farmer’s Journal, The Southern Review and Spoon River Poetry Review. He was recently a featured poet on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.
From John Greenleaf Whittier and James Russell Lowell to Robert Frost and Wendell Berry, every generation or two it seems a poet has to redefi ne our shifting relationship to the land. "Over the river and through the woods," Americans retain their comfortable myths about farming, and their agrarian roots, though for better or worse most are now several generations removed from the rural life. Paul Hunter reaches back to 19th century practices and values, and by the end leaps ahead to the agribusiness and suburban sprawl of the 21st century. We are all in there somewhere, in how we value versatility and hearken to the mystery of growth, how we both shun and are drawn to the backbreaking labor and long contemplative silences of working on the land — how we stand apart, tilling our thoughts.
What Paul Hunter says of the old folks’ speech best describes his own memorable poetry: "couched in tangibles, offering life more cleanly felt in fewer words." Like the woodcuts of his poetry broadsides, there’s an incised, hard-cut beauty to his language, making an indelible print in the mind of a way of life: "Looking after all those gone before… ordering the stone they would tell / the man cut it deep make it shine." — Eleanor Wilner
- Circe's Island
- Come the Harvest