This stirring verse narrative begins when the poet steps into an uptown Manhattan bar a few days before September 11, 2001. Encountering Joe Stone, a fellow Brit and a barstool regular, the narrator becomes the fated scribe of Joe's memories of London's "Black Saturday," the start of the worst of the Blitz during World War II. As the old man's haunting recollections of the prelude to the Blitz collide with a New York bartender's blithe optimism about the glories of America, we begin to discern the shadows and reflections of the past in New York's impending catastrophe. Deftly moving from past to present, using various poetic forms to delineate each character's unique voice, this verse drama explores everyday beauty and innocence on the brink of disaster.
About the Author
Glyn Maxwell is the author of several books of poetry, including The Sugar Mile. He is also a dramatist whose plays have been staged in New York, Edinburgh, and London. Among other honors, he has won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the E. M. Forster Prize. He was the poetry editor of the New Republic from 2001 to 2007.
"His formal technique is as strong as ever...and he still excels as a ventriloquist." Publishers Weekly
"A book of such effortlessly delicate storytelling that one hardly notices how ambitious a project it actually is." --Jon Mooallem The San Francisco Chronicle
"Gripping . . . triumphant . . . a brilliant and deeply enjoyable book." --Robert Travers The Chicago Tribune
"Clearly the work of the major poet of his generation, boldly expanding the canvas and means of his art." --James Wood
"Maxwell has the acute, acquisitive eye of a novelist and the demanding, intuitive ear of a poet." The New York Times Book Review
"Maxwell is the best dramatic poet now writing in English." --Daily Telegraph
"Effortlessly delicate storytelling...Maxwell's ear for the music of ordinary human speech is remarkable." The San Francisco Chronicle