The History of Permanence
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The poems in The History of Permanence are startling in their inclusiveness, juxtaposing history, science, myth, and popular culture with a narrative thread that rises from memory. Groups of distinctively individual poems alternate with long poem sequences that range from one based upon the difficulties of genius to one that contemplates the wondrous things that literally fall from the sky to the tile sequence, a meditation on the desire for permanence. Gary Fincke, through twelve books of poems published over twenty-four years, has built a reputation for his skill at combining the realism of personal narrative with the realism of the fantastic precisely imagined. As Robert Cording, author of Against Consolation and Common Life says, “Gary Fincke finds the words for that lone, long labor of our lives that shapes who we become and readies us for those moments when the ‘possibility of happiness/surprise[s] us.’ He combines the empathy of Philip Levine for our ordinary lives and the thinking intelligence of Carl Dennis. His great gift, like Levine’s and Dennis’, is the way he so casually connects his own life to those worlds, his poems always convincing the reader with their intelligence, with their subtle wit and humor, and with their deep feeling as they simultaneously strive for a history of permanence and comically acknowledge our human failures.” His poems have appeared frequently in nearly every well-regarded journal, including The Paris Review, Ploughshares, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Missouri Review, the Kenyon Review, the Georgia Review, and the Gettysburg Review. Reprinted in Harper’s, the Pushcart Prize volumes, Poetry Daily, and Verse Daily, he has won the Ohio State University Press/The Journal Poetry Book Prize and the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry magazine. He is the Charles Degenstein Professor of Creative Writing at Susquehanna University, where he directs the Writers Institute.
Stephen F. Austin University Press