“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 is Wilmot Here, Collect For Stella. He's received Iron Horse Literary Review's Discovered Voices Award, scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and an Academy of American Poets Prize. Some of his recent poems appear in Post Road, Orion, Smartish Pace, The Journal, and elsewhere. Gerard is editor of Grist: The Journal for Writers and will graduate in spring 2014 with a Ph.D. in English from the University of Tennessee. Visit Christian on the web at www.christianantongerard.com