Dismantling the Hills

The poems in Dismantling the Hills are love songs to the forests of the Pacific Northwest, to its small towns and its people, to its wildness: 'the dust of stars, the grain of timber, / the burls in the hearts of men.' Distinguished by their masterful craft and human sympathy, these poems constitute not just an unusually fine and readable first collection, but an evocation of place and spirit worthy of comparison with such American classics as Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs and Frost's North of Boston.
Ed Ochester

Winner, 2007 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize
Winner, 2008 Balcones Poetry Prize


Dismantling the Hills
is a testament to working-class, rural American life. In a world of machinists, loggers, mill workers, and hairdressers, the poems collected here bear witness to a landscape, an industry, and a people teetering on the edge of ruin. From tightly constructed narratives to expansive and surreal meditations, the various styles in this book not only reflect the poet’s range, but his willingness to delve into his obsessions from countless angles Full of despair yet never self-loathing, full of praise yet never nostalgic, Dismantling the Hills is both ode and elegy. McGriff’s vision of blue-collar life is one of complication and contradiction, and the poems he makes are authentic, unwavering, and unapologetically American.

September, 2008

isbn : 9780822960072

about the author

Michael McGriff

Michael McGriff was born and raised in Coos Bay, Oregon. He has received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from The Poetry Foundation, and a Michener Fellowship from the University of Texas at Austin. He is the translator of Tomas Tranströmer’s The Sorrow Gondola, and his work has appeared in Slate, Agni, Field, the Missouri Review, and Poetry, among other publications.

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Michael McGriff