Meditations on the life of poetry by an award-winning poet

Look Inside

Copyright © 2011, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

Media Kit


Praise for David Mason

“. . . richly evocative and rare . . .”
Publishers Weekly

“David Mason has succeeded in restoring to poetry some of the territory lost over recent centuries to prose fiction.”
—Paul Lake, First Things


In this new collection of essays, award-winning poet David Mason further broadens his exploration of Western and frontier themes. Beginning with the subject of poetry in and about the American West, he then widens his canvas to examine poets as diverse as James Wright, Anthony Hecht, and B. H. Fairchild, as well as taking up the idea of “the West” in global terms.

The title essay builds on a product of Mason’s upbringing in the American West—his “two minds” about the life of poetry, one aware that he needs and loves the art, and one equally aware that he understands a world outside cultural definitions. These two minds coexist throughout each lively, evocative essay, while Mason delves into family history and his efforts to connect himself to place, narrative poets of the American West, and farther-flung topics such as literary movements, post-colonial studies, and favorite Greek writers. In each of these meditations, Mason pursues a personal voice, connecting what he reads to a life outside books and making poetry accessible to the common reader.

David Mason’s 2007 verse novel Ludlow was named best poetry book of the year by the Contemporary Poetry Review and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. His poetry, prose, and translations have appeared in a variety of national and international publications. A former Fulbright Fellow to Greece, Mason teaches at Colorado College. He was recently named Poet Laureate of the state of Colorado.

Read: Poet Profile | PBS Poetry Series