Combed by Crows now available on site

combed-by-crows-cover-grab   Now only available on the Deerbrook Editions Website.

Dennis Camire is an up and comer, all right, and much thanks to you for Combed by Crows.  The poems engage us with their promising titles, and deliver with skill and energy.  I like what he says, and he says plenty.

—X.J. Kennedy

The most striking aspect of Dennis Camire’s poems is how they recalibrate our lens on the familiar. They celebrate poignant moments when honest curiosity allows a reader to assume an unfamiliar point of view. Like the widow feeding seagulls, one can “feed with like greed on all the grace” in these swooping poems, and be consoled on the way “through grief ’s coastal gales.” If we need reason for awe, read “The Song of Our Cells”: our most basic rejuvenation is cause for amazement.

Camire’s poems show us by example that abstraction and transcendence are not required to practice presence. The poems reflect on plain moments observed with gentle humor while buying groceries, gardening, repairing a stone wall, fishing for trout. Such moments are not abstractions. They reveal that what might seem banal is layered and often cause for solace. Like St. Augustine, Dennis reminds us over and over that “love draws us to the things of this world.” And what a lovable world his is.

—Jeanine Hathaway, Vassar Miller Prize, 2001, The Self as Constellation

Dennis Camire currently teaches college writing and creative writing at Central Maine Community College and at White Mountains College. Additionally, he’s on the board of Maine Poetry Central which curates The Portland Poet Laureate Project and the poetry series, In Verse: Maine Places and People, which appears in The Sun Journal Sunday Edition. His last book, Stone By Stone: Poems about the Art of Dry Stone Walling, was published by Finishing Line Press. He lives in an A-frame in West Paris, Maine.


To apply Dennis Camire’s own words to himself, he is indeed a “birder of words” working at “altruism’s altitude.” If all poetry implies a vision, what the poems in Combed by Crows see is how important beauty is in a broken world—beauty and compassion—how they can be found almost anywhere, in the autistic boy trying to get a date, in giant pumpkins and lowly earthworms, in our language itself, from the letters of the alphabet to the many names of fishing lures. Camire sees and celebrates it all, not denying our wounds, but finding in them the source of love. These poems become models of attention and curiosity, gratitude and a full-hearted embrace of experience. T he images are vivid and compelling, the syntax becomes a river, carrying us through an amazing series of verbal rapids without once tipping us over. I love this book. It’s like the donated organs described in one poem, giving our tired cynical minds a transplant of marvel and wonder.

—Betsy Sholl, Former Maine Poet Laureate

What Dennis Camire does best with inventive, metaphoric language is to praise “this world’s strange beauty.” But even more important than this, he never lets us forget those who are seemingly excluded from paradise: the autistic, the maimed, the disfigured. Thus among kids “whose eyebrows dragonfly with delight” and “the purple and green roots” of their hair, we find in the same park “the mother with/Down’s syndrome child in tow/slow to marvel/at this Garden of Eden of Teens/ . . . the way he always blossoms/that same smile to each unexplained glory.” I grinned and cried at these poems, but seldom separately because Camire knows the inextricable intimacy of laughter and tears.

Spurred to dreaming by these wonderful lines, I, too, began to imagine, and there were his forebears, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Ogden Nash, meeting somewhere outside of time and space, sharing this book. And why not?—these three poets of pied beauty and dappled things.

—Bruce Guernsey, former editor of The Spoon River Poetry Review and author of From Rain: Poems, 1970-2010

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The Irresistible In-Between, poetry by David Sloan

The Irresistible In-Between

The Irresistible In-Between cover features a photo by Chris Darling.

The Irresistible In-Between, poems by David Sloan.

This first book is a fine collection of poetry. Here are the endorsements from the back cover:

The task David Sloan takes on in this collection is nothing less than to depict the struggle to live an authentic life as a necessarily flawed human being. Sloan does not shy away from exposing what he calls  ‘all my ineptitudes’ as a son, brother, father, and husband. But this uneasy awareness of the dread mingled with elation only deepens his appreciation of those human ties—and of the world around him, whose beauty remains (as in the title of one of my favorite poems) ‘unfixable.’

—Jeffrey Harrison, author of Incomplete Knowledge

 
As with other strong and wise writers, David Sloan strives to capture the sensations of being alive. The poems in The Irresistible In-Between are works of stunning measure: several leave me gasping. ‘Philemon and Baucis’ for example, where the poet regards how ‘the old couple’ ‘touch/each other’s shoulders’ and though they ‘feel the dizzying// closeness of divinity,’ ask of the gods ‘only not to outlive one another.’ The evidence for such direct yet potent felicities of expression is numerous and as much in the pile as in the particle. Read just one poem and you’ll see what I mean, but be a glutton, have at it with Sloan’s deeply honest, unpretentious, generous and beautifully crafted poems. You’ll carry more life in your mind.

—Gray Jacobik, author of Little Boy Blue

The poems of The Irresistible In-Between read the way a river flows. You put a toe in the water and, next thing you know, you’re caught in the current, going wherever the water goes. This is a beautiful book, rendered with hard-won precision and clarity while offering the layers of emotion we quickly recognized as the heartscape of our lives. I think we want ferocious poems fueled by the actual passions and persistent anxieties that elbow around in our daily lives. These are those.

—Tim Seibles, author of Fast Animal

W.H. Auden said poetry is a clear statement of mixed emotions, and that’s the great gift of David Sloan’s poems. The Irresistible In-Between gives us a series of lenses, each clarifying the rich complexity of contemporary life and relationships. There is an exactitude of eye and ear here, and an unassuming confidence that makes the speaker an indispensable guide through relational thickets, where, as he says, ‘I do what I can to be near the commotion, the danger.’ I would describe all these poems the way the speaker describes his sons’ carpentry skills: ‘the casual exactness of lines/ measured out like music.’ These are indeed beautifully rendered poems.

—Betsy Sholl, author of Rough Cradle

David Sloan received the 2012 Betsy Sholl Award for the poem Bad Math, and the 2012 Maine Literary Award for Poetry in the Short Works Competition.

About the Author –

A graduate of the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA Poetry Program, David Sloan loves living in Maine “at the edge of the world” with his wife Christine; they both work in Maine’s only Waldorf high school.  He is the author of two books on teaching: Stages of Imagination: Working Dramatically with Adolescents, and Life Lessons: Reaching Teenagers through Literature.  His poetry has appeared most recently in The Barefoot Review, The Broome Review, The Café Review, Carpe Articulum, Innisfree, The Naugatuck River Review, The Northern New England Review, Passager, The Prairie Wolf Press Review and Words and Images.  He is a recipient of the 2012 Betsy Sholl and Maine Literary awards, and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  He is currently enjoying life’s newest delight—grandfatherhood!

The Irresistible In-Between, poetry by David Sloan

The Irresistible In-Between

The Irresistible In-Between cover features a photo by Chris Darling.

Deerbrook Editions is pleased to announce:

The Irresistible In-Between, poems by David Sloan.

This first book is a fine collection of poetry. Here are the endorsements from the back cover:

The task David Sloan takes on in this collection is nothing less than to depict the struggle to live an authentic life as a necessarily flawed human being. Sloan does not shy away from exposing what he calls  ‘all my ineptitudes’ as a son, brother, father, and husband. But this uneasy awareness of the dread mingled with elation only deepens his appreciation of those human ties—and of the world around him, whose beauty remains (as in the title of one of my favorite poems) ‘unfixable.’

—Jeffrey Harrison, author of Incomplete Knowledge

 
As with other strong and wise writers, David Sloan strives to capture the sensations of being alive. The poems in The Irresistible In-Between are works of stunning measure: several leave me gasping. ‘Philemon and Baucis’ for example, where the poet regards how ‘the old couple’ ‘touch/each other’s shoulders’ and though they ‘feel the dizzying// closeness of divinity,’ ask of the gods ‘only not to outlive one another.’ The evidence for such direct yet potent felicities of expression is numerous and as much in the pile as in the particle. Read just one poem and you’ll see what I mean, but be a glutton, have at it with Sloan’s deeply honest, unpretentious, generous and beautifully crafted poems. You’ll carry more life in your mind.

—Gray Jacobik, author of Little Boy Blue

The poems of The Irresistible In-Between read the way a river flows. You put a toe in the water and, next thing you know, you’re caught in the current, going wherever the water goes. This is a beautiful book, rendered with hard-won precision and clarity while offering the layers of emotion we quickly recognized as the heartscape of our lives. I think we want ferocious poems fueled by the actual passions and persistent anxieties that elbow around in our daily lives. These are those.

—Tim Seibles, author of Fast Animal

W.H. Auden said poetry is a clear statement of mixed emotions, and that’s the great gift of David Sloan’s poems. The Irresistible In-Between gives us a series of lenses, each clarifying the rich complexity of contemporary life and relationships. There is an exactitude of eye and ear here, and an unassuming confidence that makes the speaker an indispensible guide through relational thickets, where, as he says, ‘I do what I can to be near the commotion, the danger.’ I would describe all these poems the way the speaker describes his sons’ carpentry skills: ‘the casual exactness of lines/ measured out like music.’ These are indeed beautifully rendered poems.

—Betsy Sholl, author of Rough Cradle

David Sloan received the 2012 Betsy Sholl Award for the poem Bad Math, and the 2012 Maine Literary Award for Poetry in the Short Works Competition.

About the Author –

A graduate of the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA Poetry Program, David Sloan loves living in Maine “at the edge of the world” with his wife Christine; they both work in Maine’s only Waldorf high school.  He is the author of two books on teaching: Stages of Imagination: Working Dramatically with Adolescents, and Life Lessons: Reaching Teenagers through Literature.  His poetry has appeared most recently in The Barefoot Review, The Broome Review, The Café Review, Carpe Articulum, Innisfree, The Naugatuck River Review, The Northern New England Review, Passager, The Prairie Wolf Press Review and Words and Images.  He is a recipient of the 2012 Betsy Sholl and Maine Literary awards, and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  He is currently enjoying life’s newest delight—grandfatherhood!