“I think most contemporary poets occupy a fairly humble place in the universe, that we have few Byronic illusions about our fame. The act of reading my poems to an audience will always be a bit scary.”
These poems often resist the reader in the same way his speaker resists his father, but the book’s exploration of such distance creates a closeness between the reader and the poems, and the speaker and his father, that’s almost too much to bear.
Free Union is much more than a small Virginia town. It is also the choice involved; the choice to go back to the land, the choice to settle with a partner, father children, and find both comfort and discomfort in the God these pages depict.
Christian Anton Gerard's first book, Wilmot Here, Collect For Stella is forthcoming from WordTech Communications in 2014. He's the recipient of Pushcart Prize nominations, scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and an Academy of American Poets Prize. Some of his recent poems can (or will soon) be found in Redivider, Pank, Orion, Smartish Pace, B-O-D-Y, Waccamaw, Apt, and The Journal. Gerard lives in Knoxville with his wife, Lucy, and their son, where he's editor of Grist: The Journal for Writers, the Nathalia Wright Research Assistant for Early Modern Studies and an English Ph.D. candidate at the University of Tennessee.