Winner of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize
Florida Book Awards Gold Medal Winner
Stephen Kampa’s poems are witty and restless in their pursuit of an intelligent modern faith. They range from a four-line satire of office inspirational posters to a lengthy meditation on the silence of God. The poems also revel in the prosodic possibilities of English’s high and low registers: a twenty–one line homage to Lord Byron that turns on three rhymes (one of which is “eisegesis”); a sestina whose end words include “sentimental,” “Marseilles,” and “Martian;” sapphics on the death of Ray Charles; and intricately modulated stanzas on the 1931 Spanish–language movie version of Dracula
Despite the metaphysical seriousness, there is always an undercurrent of stylistic levity — a panoply of puns, comic rhymes, and loving misquotations of canonical literature — that suggests comedy and tragedy are inextricably bound in human experience.