My first full-length poetry collection--flat spine!--will be coming out this fall from Stephen F. Austin State University Press. Here's the back cover copy, and a few images I hope will work in some way for the front cover:
From Oklahoma to Minnesota, Ohio to Nebraska, Benjamin Vogt traces his life through the echo of his ancestors, who settled the southern Plains in the 1800s. With poems based on black and white family photographs, past stories seep out from the worn edges: a boy standing where a tornado took the barn, a truck stalled on railroad tracks, a kiss before a lover ships off to war, a German chorus in the schoolhouse, a visit to a vanishing homestead. The past migration of Vogt’s family lingers in his own life as he moves from the southern to northern Plains and the eastern Midwest, where the natural world calls out through deep lakes and dark woods, and finally through transient moments framed by gardens: a butterfly nectaring on a coneflower, planting lavender with his future wife, or autumn leaves crashing against a morning window. In a rich array of forms and evocative imagery, the poems in Afterimage reach through prairie history until grass becomes skin, and light becomes shadow.
|My dad at 10 months, with his dad and brothers|
|Pale Purple Coneflower|
|Swamp Sunflower Perhaps? Can't Recall.|