Chad Davidson is an associate professor of English at the University of West Georgia (Carrollton). He has published two other volumes of poetry with SIU Press—Consolation Miracle and The Last Predicta. With Gregory Fraser, he has also coauthored two textbooks: Writing Poetry: Creative and Critical Approaches (Palgrave, 2009) and Analyze Anything: A Guide to Critical Reading and Writing (Continuum, 2012). His poems, reviews, translations, and essays have appeared in a number of journals, including AGNI, Boston Review, Chicago Review, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Writer’s Chronicle.
“Italy is the origin of so much that we take for granted in our art, architecture, cuisine, literature, politics, religion, history, language. In From the Fire Hills—part pop-cultural Virgilian Guide Book, part twenty-first-century Grand Tour Baedeker—Davidson traverses this storied, incendiary terrain with what he has elsewhere called his signature ‘Bigfoot Poetics,’ as comfortable among the supper talk of cryptozoologists as it is among the pages of supermarket tabloids.”
—Lisa Russ Spaar
“These lovely, complex poems are the notebooks of a cultural commuter, written during his journeys back and forth across the Gothic Lines that divide present from past, memory from experience, private from public. They are bravura performances, full of the nimbleness of mind and form that I have long admired in Davidson's work.”
“Davidson’s powerful From the Fire Hills is a love song to California and Italy, which is to say it’s a love song to history and language: ‘Even in Italy,/I watched too much TV, conversing not with people/but with language itself,’ Davidson wryly observes. From the Fire Hills is like the beautiful old churches in Italy: ‘Like damaged clocks/they possess and are possessed by history.’ And damage, beauty, and history sing in precise and heartbreaking harmony throughout the book.”
Southern Illinois University Press