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Algonquins Planted Salmon, Red Mountain Press, 84 pp., 2012

$16.95 $10.00

Donald Levering’s 11th poetry book, Algonquins Planted Salmon, makes myths into poems of wonder and warning. It celebrates dancing cranes, flitting moths, and falling stars. It likewise decries river damming, coal mining, and monstrous poisonings, such as at Fukushima and the sonic onslaught on dolphins. It is a book in which, “Nature is making her last stand,” being paved over “to make way/for the passing of humans.” It closes with elemental odes offering succor: a night train from the ice ages, juncos whose feet “tap out the secret of flight,” gravity as circus master, an apostrophe to the wind. The majority of the 41 poems have been published in journals, such as Hiram Poetry ReviewOyez ReviewQuiddity, and Water-Stone. While the free-verse voices and styles of the poem vary, there is a unified sensibility and focus on the place of humans within an evolving creation. “Levering is original. He interprets ordinary situations with unexpected twists. Each poem is a mystery with clues and a final revelation.”—Kansas City Star  “When I read his poems it’s as if I’m in a world outside of time, looking at daily life from a new perspective in which everything becomes symbolic.”—Victor Contoski, author of Astronomers, Madonnas, and Prophecies; Homecoming; and Broken Treaties. “The metamorphic poems in Donald Levering’s new book take us on a remarkable set of adventures.”—Charles Goodrich, featured poet on Garrison Keillor’s A Writer’s Almanac, author of Going to Seed, and Spring Creek Project Director. “In this collection about us and the whole, Levering makes possible a perception of human days on Earth not separated from creation itself.”—Susan Clare, Director and Editor of Together Yes.

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Donald Levering’s 11th poetry book, Algonquins Planted Salmon, makes myths into poems of wonder and warning. It celebrates dancing cranes, flitting moths, and falling stars. It likewise decries river damming, coal mining, and monstrous poisonings, such as at Fukushima and the sonic onslaught on dolphins. It is a book in which, “Nature is making her last stand,” being paved over “to make way/for the passing of humans.” It closes with elemental odes offering succor: a night train from the ice ages, juncos whose feet “tap out the secret of flight,” gravity as circus master, an apostrophe to the wind. The majority of the 41 poems have been published in journals, such as Hiram Poetry ReviewOyez ReviewQuiddity, and Water-Stone. While the free-verse voices and styles of the poem vary, there is a unified sensibility and focus on the place of humans within an evolving creation. “Levering is original. He interprets ordinary situations with unexpected twists. Each poem is a mystery with clues and a final revelation.”—Kansas City Star  “When I read his poems it’s as if I’m in a world outside of time, looking at daily life from a new perspective in which everything becomes symbolic.”—Victor Contoski, author of Astronomers, Madonnas, and Prophecies; Homecoming; and Broken Treaties. “The metamorphic poems in Donald Levering’s new book take us on a remarkable set of adventures.”—Charles Goodrich, featured poet on Garrison Keillor’s A Writer’s Almanac, author of Going to Seed, and Spring Creek Project Director. “In this collection about us and the whole, Levering makes possible a perception of human days on Earth not separated from creation itself.”—Susan Clare, Director and Editor of Together Yes.