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Poetry Death

Earth-cool, and Dirty

by (author) Jacob Lee Bachinger

Radiant Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2021
Death, General, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
    List Price

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Earth-cool, and Dirty iis a timely debut collection by Jacob Lee Bachinger, full of wisdom, and beautiful reflections on the state of humanity. It is a call to pay careful attention to the earth, to nurture it in the same way we attend to the people we love. In "My Son Asleep, Age 4," he observes: "What no one told me,/what I've had to learn for myself:/to love this much is painful."

About the author

Jacob Lee Bachinger lives and works in southern Alberta on the edge of coulees and the Oldman River. He teaches at the University of Lethbridge and has had his poems published in The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, Riddle Fence, and The Malahat Review among others. He is currently working on a book about his time in Labrador. Jacob lives in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Jacob Lee Bachinger's profile page

Editorial Reviews

In this promising first collection, Bachinger gives us direct poems with a sense of the moment and the ordinary, that see the landmarks of our lives without embellishment. The wilderness here is surprisingly close, it's the nature of every day as we, like some of these creatures, find ourselves "gambling with oblivion". I found myself re-reading some favourites for both the pleasure and the thought.
- Bruce Rice, author of The Vivian Poems: Street Photographer Vivian Maier

Coming to us at a time when the words "climate emergency" seem to be everywhere and we're seeing the emergency up close and firsthand, these gorgeously precise, contemplative poems offer not a balm, nor an escape, but a much-needed awakening. Bachinger's intense engagements with Thoreau and Heraclitus are personal and expansive; his Su Tung-p'o poems are exquisite. Sonically alive, metaphorically fresh and wonderfully tight, the poems in Earth-cool, and Dirty take us deep into place, relationships, and the nature of desire. I will be thinking about this book for a long time.
- Brenda Schmidt, author of Culverts Beneath the Narrow Road

Jacob L. Bachinger's poems are full of careful observation of the natural world, of people. There are elegies for disappeared grosbeaks, a discarded plastic bag, and the weeds that take over the yard of an abandoned house. But there is also music and reverence and belonging. Like the poet-governor in his eponymous poem, Bachinger's words lead ever homeward.
- Monica Kidd, author of Chance Encounters with Wild Animals

True poems, as Jacob Bachinger says in his homage to imagist William Carlos Williams, " release the heart." And having read and re-read this excellent book, my heart is transported. Bachinger is , himself, an accomplished imagist, an acute observer, and one is sharply aware of that from the rich blast of sensory detail in the book's title piece. Earth-cool, and Dirty brings alive the simple spud in someone else's hands. Some of the stunning imagery that follows is also reserved for hands: his dreaming son's " sleep-softened fingers./ They feel like blossoms." ; and his retired farmer grandfather's work-worn paws, " brown and his idle hand tools." I urge you to give yourself over to this true poet and allow his hands to liberate you.
- Roger Bell, author of Candy Cigarettes: A Small Town Memoir