After squalls fill the hollow
I fear the light,
which has nearly folded
its purple into laurel,
will splinter on a porcupine’s orange teeth
as it rakes the white ribs of a dead coyote…
From “Winter Solstice”
Of This River by Noah Davis is the poets first published collection. His poems and prose have appeared in Best New Poets, Orion Magazine, North American Review, River Teeth Journal, Sou’wester, and Chautauqua. George Ella Lyon selected Of this River for the 2019 Wheelbarrow Emerging Poet Book Contest from Michigan State University’s Center for Poetry.
Of this River stands out as an outstanding collection of contemporary poetry. The Appalachian theme that runs through the collection creates a subtle but vivid environment. Unlike many works that overstate themes, however, here the reader wades in and finds himself or herself emersed in the poetry. The water theme is nearly always present and anchors the poems together along with the short-haired girl. The connection between the water and the girl seems almost Woolfish.
The mythology that runs through the poems, although local, seems to have a Native American feel to the stories. It is very much in touch with the land rather than a being. A stunning collection that connects, explores, expresses life in the remote setting.