Today's poem is "Mulberry"
from The Fertile Crescent

Cherry Grove Collections

John Repp is a widely published poet, fiction writer, essayist, and the author of Thirst Like This (University of Missouri Press, 1990), which won the Devins Award in Poetry, and four limited-edition chapbooks. Recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship and two Residency Fellowships at Yaddo, he teaches writing and literature at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, works in the Arts-in-Education Program of the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts, and lives in Erie with his wife, Katherine Knupp, and their son, Dylan.

About The Fertile Crescent:

"Reading John Repp's The Fertile Crescent, I am reminded of what first drew me to poetry: a love of language set loose in the world, and the world made new by the force of imagery's rich provocations and disturbances. John Repp's poems are so word-lovely, so musical, one might be tempted to ignore the difficult knowledge they quest after, knowledge of purpose and safety—and, dare I say it—moral vision in dangerous times. But that, Repp tells us, will not do: 'Whatever comes will have to come through me.' Rooted equally in the body and the body politic, these marvelous poems tell America’s story and let no one off the hook."
—Dorothy Barresi, author of Rouge Pulp

"'Despite millennia jammed with the.../bottomless agony this poem will not praise or bemoan or so much as wince at beyond/this line, I offer mulberry...' In The Fertile Crescent, John Repp offers us fertile origin, fetid end, and all the feasting in between. The raw stink, sex, and stun of these poems brace us for our past, which is to say, every day, from first to last."
—Kathy Fagan, author of The Charm

"John Repp's consciousness can seek out the most shabby and plastic of our 21st-century American details (where the month of June 'unwinds.../with all the happiness of management/creativity seminars') and can still report back to us through Zen-eyes that see how everything, from 'golf club [to] steam from a peach pie cooling,' is 'a petal/of the lotus.' And if 'the ward stank of piss and shit and state warehouse soap,' there's still a tender reverence for 'the beauty/all about me, the beauty/in every syllable.' What a comprehensive collection of poems, heartfelt and smart about our human confusions!"
—Albert Goldbarth, twice winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award in Poetry

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