Poems by Robert Bensen

Art by Phil Young

Before brims with the ordinary lives of neighbors and family, where little girls die suddenly of meningitis, people are mistreated or loved, and men in their garages never finish repairing their motorcycles or their wives’ pie plates. Life, the book reminds us, is tragic, life is funny, and art shows us these wholes. The language is all ruckus and grace and humanity, and the words won’t go away.”Carol Frost“

Robert Bensen is a poet of the highest ambition, who accepts tremendous challenges and acquits himself skillfully. His book is a generous feast for the imagination.”X. J. Kennedy, Robert Frost Medal, Jackson Poetry Prize“

Here is a beautiful wide-ranging collection of poems by one of the best poets now writing in these United States. There are exquisite lyrics, explosive political poems, explorations of little-known historic places, people, events. This is a major collection of poems: it will delight, astonish, and educate those who are lucky enough to find and enjoy it for themselves.”Carter Revard, An Eagle Nation and Family Matters/Tribal Affairs“

Robert Bensen is a poet of great—and ever more necessary—balance. He opens the register wide, writing with honesty, insight, and a superb ear. Reading his poems, we feel the bubble in the level go right to dead center.” Sven Birkerts, The Electric Life: Essays on Modern Poetry

“A tuned, well-tempered distemper springs from these poems. Robert Bensen grasps our mortal coil, that hot-white internal wrestling, with exacting force and grace.”Ishion Hutchinson, House of Lords and Commons“Here is lyric poetry of a high order, of kinetic energy, of springyEnglish, elegiac, celebratory, polished, technically highly-skilled.” DAVID GREYSMITH, author of Rhyme Gist

Trenton, NY: Five Oaks Press, 2019 
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Lecturer, SUNY Oneonta,
Professor Emeritus, Hartwick College

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(Education, employment, books, journals, anthologies, gallery exhibitions)