The Open Books newsletter says this about the book:
Can a book be thrillingly mournful? Transportingly plainspoken? Reassuringly ominous? Rough Day, Ed Skoog’s second volume, suggests the answer is yes, most definitely. The poems are untitled and unpunctuated so that reading the collection is close to experiencing the shifting openness of film, or perhaps like walking with its author as he meditates on past and present and future in language mystical and familiar. He is a welcome companion, whose poems, inventively crafted, offer comfort not through bromide or distraction, but through tender attention and fearless honesty.
Hear an interview about the book with Ryan Young at Marfa Public Radio.
Read an interview about the book with Lillian Nickerson in Seattle’s City Arts.
If you’re in Seattle, come to a party for the book on June 13 at the Richard Hugo House.
What is in these books that have come to me? Ed Skoog asks in Rough Day. He then rephrases the book’s central question: What is in this body that has come to me?
Where Skoog’s previous book, Mister Skylight, looked back in shock and anger at Hurricane Katrina, Rough Day looks ahead at how to rebuild and restore a sense of identity and memory after great rupture, while preparing for the next undoing. Skoog finds in Zugunruhe (the restless behavior of animals prior to migration) a model for the imagination’s waves of creation and destruction, and a metaphor for poetry as a propulsive behavior that keeps the mind on the move.
I haven’t ruined my body yet with joy
though I worry it like a carpenter
working on a building for ghost
safety of rage
comfort in revenge
I once found them at the edge of song
fleeing the fire the cold either
I would give a full accounting of time
but cannot remember it
and anyway that world has passed us
A native of Topeka, Kansas, Ed Skoog’s first book of poetry, Mister Skylight (Copper Canyon Press), was published in 2009. His poetry has appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, and The Paris Review. He teaches at the University of Montana and lives in Missoula, Montana
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Trade Paper: 6 x 9, 96 pages
Pub Date: 06/11/2013