Answering the Ruins: Poems
Gregory Fraser Northwestern University Press, 2009 Library of Congress PS3606.R423A83 2009 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Gregory Fraser is an associate professor of English at the University of West Georgia. His first book of poetry, Strange Pietà (2003), won the Walt Mcdonald Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the Walt Whitman Award. A recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Fraser is the coauthor, with Chad Davidson, of the textbook Writing Poetry: Creative and Critical Approaches. He lives in Carrollton, Georgia.
Designed for Flight: Poems
Gregory Fraser Northwestern University Press, 2014 Library of Congress PS3606.R423A6 2014 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Designed for Flight both continues and enlarges the exploration of the rhythms of our emotional lives undertaken in Gregory Fraser’s first two collections. A master of metaphor, Fraser works magic within tightly controlled forms, loading lines with surprising juxtapositions and changes of direction. Taken together, the poems trace the sometimes instant, sometimes decades-long movement from incomprehensible loss and grief to rueful reflection and, if we’re lucky, uneasy accommodation. Casting a sharply observant eye on past selves, always steering clear of simple sentiment, the speaker in this collection looks back with bitter irony and forgiveness in equal measure. Against the fears and frustrations of childhood, the dissolution of a doomed relationship, and the distance between the hoped for and the actual, Fraser’s poems offer the imagination’s capacity for endless invention and the compensatory pleasures of art.
Little Armageddon: Poems
Gregory Fraser Northwestern University Press, 2021 Library of Congress PS3606.R423L58 2021 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
It is our everyday explorations—the small explosions within life, family, and “ordinary” survival—that make up Gregory Fraser’s fourth collection of poetry, Little Armageddon. Fraser writes at eye level, detailing the experiences of fatherhood, love, and the quiet of daily life, poised at the brink of abrupt upheaval.
These poems are an exercise in precision and reflection. Free verse and prose show readers the life within the landscape. In “My Daughter and the Lizard,” the speaker reflects on grace, meditating on the reptile his child is inspecting: “I scissor-jab three holes through the lid / of a Mason jar and tell her to be gentle, / ‘It’s a living thing,’ I say, ‘not a toy.’”
We are how we live. These poems balance imagination and truth telling with rich verse that brings the reader’s ear closer to the quiet—and how intense it truly is.