Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Novels by poets: The Sweet Everlasting

Following up on the theme of novels written by poets, the poet Beth Ann Fennelly recommended Judson Mitcham's The Sweet Everlasting.

For a number of useful synopses and brief reviews of The Sweet Everlasting, click here and here.

Mitcham has an affinity for people on the margins of life and an ability to look at their lives and see the threads common to us all. The simple words of Ellis Burt suffuse The Sweet Everlasting with a tenderness and depth of feeling that will haunt you long after the reading.
--from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's review of The Sweet Everlasting

Brief videos: Judson Mitcham reads from The Sweet Everlasting. On using a pencil instead of a pen. Mitcham reads "Delilah".

Mitcham is also the author of two volumes of poetry and a second novel, Sabbath Creek.

Of his debut collection of poems Somewhere in Ecclesiastes, one reviewer wrote: "Mitcham explores processes of change, particularly 'how things go wrong' in life, everything susceptible to 'the unbelievable sadness of chance' and its aftereffects." Another remarked, "There are no histrionics here, no effort to shock or amuse or seduce; just beautifully realized poetry that uses language as it should be used. "

Three poems from his second collection, This April Day, are available here.

Mitcham's book was recommended by Beth Ann Fennelly, an acclaimed poet in her own right.

Her 2005 collection of poems, Tender Hooks, was praised for showing "that there isn't a subject—no matter how ordinary or domestic—that can't be vitalized by an interesting mind."

Click here for a brief synopsis and reviews of Tender Hooks.

Click here for an interview with Beth Ann Fennelly, and click here to read a selection of her poetry.

The poet teaches at the University of Mississippi and lives in Oxford. Her previous book, Open House, won the 2001 Kenyon Review Prize and was a Booksense Top Ten poetry pick.

Her Great With Child: Letters to a Young Mother is due out in April.

Thanks to Beth Ann for recommending Judson Mitcham's The Sweet Everlasting.

--Marshal Zeringue