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Gust: Poems (Paperback)

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Irresistible in its color and momentum, Greg Alan Brownderville's debut collection explores the competing mysticisms of his boyhood: the Voudou of his native Arkansas Delta and the Pentecostalism embodied by his devil-hunting pastor, Brother Langston. On the one hand, "gust" sonically suggests "ghost," and wind is a metaphor for inspiration and the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, "gust" suggests urge and pleasure, especially of the gastronomic variety, thus evoking the body. 

Brownderville commands the complex eloquence of Southerners who love not only local color but also high-flown rhetoric. Instead of reinforcing stereotypes about rural folks' thought and speech, he challenges our assumptions by presenting real life as a festival of mixed diction. Church, as Brownderville enacts it, both quickens and forbids the erotic, whose lightning flashes and crashes everywhere in these poems. Highlights include a press conference with a bizarrely poetic rural sheriff, a Zimbabwean meter never before employed in English, a rock and roll song interrupted by a Walmart intercom, and poems about the exploitation of Italians in Arkansas cotton fields. 

At once evoking Yeats and Whitman, Gust recovers the dramatic mode often neglected in contemporary American poetry. Brownder­ville's uncanny lyricism storms through stories that are both moving and humorous.

About the Author

Greg Alan Brownderville is an assistant professor of English at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. His poems have appeared in Oxford American, Prairie Schooner, Arkansas Review, and other publications.

Praise For…

"Gust is at once a tapestry, narrative and continuous, as well as a collage, impressionistic and momentary. For me, that is a satisfying combination; nowhere does this book strain to hold together as a unified expression. Brownderville is aesthetically bold-inventive, often electric, in his phrasing. I expect he's a poet we will continue to hear from, and I'll be glad for it."

Maurice Manning, author of The Common Man and Bucolics
Product Details
ISBN: 9780810152212
ISBN-10: 0810152215
Publisher: Triquarterly
Publication Date: October 30th, 2011
Pages: 136
Language: English