Brian Swann is the author of several collections of poems, most recently Autumn Road, winner of The Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award, and Snow House, winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize for Pleiades Press/LSU Press. (Author photo by Helene Glanzberg)
The poems of In Late Light situate objects and experiences (both large and small, concrete and abstract) within Brian Swann's perspective of the natural world. Sixty-two poems presented in four sections explore his life—from early days to the present—evoking friends and family on two continents. His sharp, bright imagery affirms the unique beauty of our world and explores its invisible mysteries.
"D. H. Lawrence's feeling for families and Basil Bunting's precision meet in these poems 'sharp as chipped chert or fer de lance.' A postwar English childhood and Catskill seasonal inventories frame a wiry, impish, affecting life review, rhythmically akin to the Italian poetry Swann has translated, and marking a personal summit. 'The mountain is a pattern that whirls.'"
"This various and vital collection in which articulate engagement with the sensual stuff of the natural world coexists with philosophic riffs on the meaning of night scents, stars, fireflies, and even family history is a brave, various, adventurous book that reveals with the tang of clear, immediate speech a poet in the fully earned maturity of his powers."
"Brian Swann is a magnificent poet. His new book, In Late Light, is striking for its largeness. He discovers universal truths in a bird's call, or in a remembered family scene, and he makes us perceive them as well. His style is lyrical, passionate yet restrained, immensely knowledgeable and yet attuned to common speech and always revelatory of the human heart."
Johns Hopkins University Press