In Jeremiah, Ohio, Adam Sol reinvents the Biblical prophet and doomsayer Jeremiah for the postmodern age, and sends him on a reeling road trip through the strip malls and back roads of the United States with an ordinary, everyman companion, Bruce. The mismatched pair are thrown together by accident, but come to value each other as they travel in early September toward the promised city of New York.The verse in this ambitious, politically charged, and beautiful book alternates between the two main characters -- while Jeremiah delivers strange, super-charged prophecies full of incendiary language and deliberately mixed metaphors, Bruce offers down-to-earth catalogues of mundane details and daily struggles in the American empire. With these inspired creations, Adam Sol fully delivers the mastery of language and subtlety of insight promised in his earlier work.
Adam Sol’s fourth collection of poetry, Complicity, was published in 2014 and was shortlisted for the Raymond Souster Award. His previous collections include Jeremiah, Ohio, a novel in poems that was shortlisted for Ontario’s Trillium Award for Poetry in 2008, and Crowd of Sounds, which won the award in 2004. He has published fiction, scholarly essays, reviews for a variety of publications, and recently launched a blog called How a Poem Moves. He co-directs the Flying Books School of Reading and Writing with Martha Sharpe. Sol lives in Toronto with his wife, Rabbi Yael Splansky, and their three sons.
Sol's foray into the form [of a 'novel in poems'] more than holds its own...[and] could easily collapse into gimmicky or facile politicking, but it is saved by Sol's deep engagement with both scripture and modern America...A number of the poems stand alone as virtuosic set pieces...but Jeremiah, Ohio also coheres beautifully as a narrative...
Sol has created a most gripping story...Jeremiah, Ohio has it's own unique and polyphonic music. Jeremiah and Bruce are two fully realized characters...engaging and suspenseful.
[A] stylistically excellent journey.
Sol's skill at combining Jeremiah's oratorical mode with the seemingly incongruous language of the interstate makes the story compelling.