Gregory Fraser, a professor in the Department of English at the University of West Georgia, is the author of two previous poetry collections, Answering the Ruins (Northwestern, 2009) and Strange Pietà. He is also the author, with Chad Davidson, of the textbooks Writing Poetry and Analyze Anything.
Designed for Flight both continues and enlarges the exploration of the rhythms of our emotional lives undertaken in Gregory Fraser's first two collections. A master of metaphor, Fraser works magic within tightly controlled forms, loading lines with surprising juxtapositions and changes of direction. Taken together, the poems trace the sometimes instant, sometimes decades-long movement from incomprehensible loss and grief to rueful reflection and, if we're lucky, uneasy accommodation. Casting a sharply observant eye on past selves, always steering clear of simple sentiment, the speaker in this collection looks back with bitter irony and forgiveness in equal measure. Against the fears and frustrations of childhood, the dissolution of a doomed relationship, and the distance between the hoped for and the actual, Fraser's poems offer the imagination's capacity for endless invention and the compensatory pleasures of art.
"With his seemingly inexhaustible fountain of metaphors, an openness to offbeat couplings, a fine ear, a rich and supple language, and a penetrating psychological acuity—right to the place it hurts—Greg Fraser refreshes vision, revealing not only how the past shadows bright hopes, but also how, as Blake said, 'the eye altering, alters all.'''
TriQuarterly Books / Northwestern University Press