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“Mason reveals a glorious passion for literature, as well as an almost Whitmanesque openness to the ideas and emotions that inspire creative acts at all levels.”―Library Journal (starred review)
“An illuminating literary cartography with many fascinating ports of call.”―Kirkus Reviews
“Mason expertly weaves the stories of great writers and places both ancient and new together into an imaginative literary odyssey.”―Publishers Weekly
“How are voices like places? They move through us as we move through them.”
Celebrated poet David Mason explores surprising connections in geography and time, considering writers who traveled, who emigrated or were exiled, and who often shaped the literature of their homelands. He writes of seasoned travelers (Patrick Leigh Fermor, Bruce Chatwin, Joseph Conrad, Herodotus himself), and writers as far flung as Omar Khayyam, Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, James Joyce, and Les Murray. In the end, he turns to his own native region, the American West, with Wallace Stegner, Edward Abbey, Robinson Jeffers, Belle Turnbull, and Thomas McGrath.
These essays are about familiarity and estrangement, the pleasure and knowledge readers can gain by engaging with writers’ lives, their travels, their trials, and the homes they make for themselves.
David Mason is the author of numerous books of poetry, most recently Sea Salt and Davey McGravy; a memoir, News from the Village; and a novel, Ludlow. A former Fulbright fellow to Greece, he lives in Colorado and Oregon and teaches at Colorado College.