The poems in Rick
McMonagle’s latest collection present moments experienced on a round-trip hike
to the summit of Spencer Butte in Eugene, Oregon. The style of the poems
reveals the author’s Buddhist practice, celebration of the natural world,
humor, and poetic training at Naropa University in Colorado.
Poems from Spencer
Looking for work
atop Spencer Butte
I can search
leashed dogs growl
my sentient rock
One small grain
in my shoe
in its tracks
In this elegant
tapestry of a book, the experience of climbing a mountain becomes an extended
metaphor for how we find —and lose—everything we think of as “ours” on our
climb into the clouds.
A deep panoramic
sensibility resides at the heart of these gem-like
poems. A lovely
poetics of place.
Rick McMonagle was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. His poetry
lineage includes a Calabrian great-uncle, Francesco Capilupi, who fell in love,
left the priesthood, emigrated to NYC and wrote poems; John Haag, his first
poetry teacher at Penn State and who was a student of Theodore Roethke; and
Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman at Naropa University where he received a
Poetics Certificate. He was the Executive Director of two river based
environmental organizations and now lives in Eugene, Oregon.
Book designer, printer, and photographer, Herb Everett, is the owner of Peace Rose Graphics in Eugene, Oregon. His clean and crisp page designs can be found inside many books published in Oregon, including those by Mountains and Rivers Press, and his photographer’s eye leads to beautifully arranged and compelling book covers. Samples of his work for Mountains and Rivers Press include the following books: The Exultations by Cid Corman, Kindle by Paulann Petersen, and Under the Roan Cliffs by Lorraine Ellis Harr and Brad Wolthers.
“Up until 2002, Herb Everett's Peace Rose Graphics had printed little poetry. Since then Herb has become Eugene's most active designer and printer for small press and self–published poetry books. For Traprock Books, which I edit, Herb has produced twenty books, both chapbooks and perfect–bound volumes. He has been Traprock's designer and its printer or agent with the printing industry, which is in a state of technological change and friendly takeover (i.e. hard to deal with or comprehend!). The results of Herb's efforts have been books the poets and I have been proud of. Readers are happy with them, too. Herb works carefully and creatively. He listens hard to what the poets and the editor want and offers additional ideas that enhance the book's attractiveness. After six years, Herb is my friend and valued collaborator. I can't imagine Traprock without him.”