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Book Launch With Poet Daniel Simon – Under a Gathering Sky

Date and Time for this Past Event





Join us for the launch of Under a Gathering Sky by Daniel Simon.
Daniel will share some of his new poems in Under a Gathering Sky, followed by a book signing.

About the Book:
The poems in Under a Gathering Sky present a quest narrative that examines the essence of questing itself. Grouped in five sections, the collection opens with a gathering called “Auguries,” marked by the crossing of spatial and temporal thresholds. Section 2 offers poems in “slant” dialogues with such writers as William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Lucille Clifton, W. G. Sebald, and Robert Hass. The third section, “Ingathering,” engages most directly with twenty- first century reckonings as well as voices and images from the author’s past. Section 4 consists of mostly four line poems, which demand that the reader engage with the text and their own ethics. In the final ascent of the fifth section, the concluding poems reflect on personal and collective geographies as well as on the limits of our knowing.

What Others Have Said About the Manuscript:
“Just from these few poems I can see or hear a guiding voice and aesthetic and probably a trajectory to the book a journey (through this ‘new country’) as much through time and circumstance as place, and a seriousness, an accompanying tenderness (for nature, for prospects of hope, etc.). I detect something like a five act movement, with a magnitude and a real sense of progression. There’s also a kind of expository riskiness, which I am drawn to here, with a balance of a type of lyrical image and something like a thinking through of the large issues even in relatively short poems. And it looks like much of the coherence is natural that is, the placement of conscience and history making in a palpable location in a natural scene. There’s a classical seriousness throughout.” ~David Baker, Denison University

“I find the book prophetic, and the work of a mystic who is in touch with tellurian and human forces that remain hidden to the common person. ‘Days of Reckoning’ in particular is very powerful, and so is the eponymous poem, ‘Under a Gathering Sky.’ The volume is a journey sending the reader into the unknown, into another dimension, broader and faraway. .The homecoming in part 5 is also an atoning, and rearranging the homestead with love, creating a new, pared down harmony, keeping the essential harmonies, creating order. The homecoming is spiritual, physical, and intellectual. Writing poetry or harvesting the grain, both are inseparable in their rhythm. And ‘Knowing’ sums it up: climbing upward, returning to our departure point, ready perhaps for another journey it is a poem that brings closure yet manages to keep the volume open.” ~Alice Catherine Carls, University of Tennessee at Martin

About the Author:
A poet, translator, and essayist, Daniel Simon is assistant director and editor-in-chief of World Literature Today magazine at the University of Oklahoma, where he also serves on the English, International Studies, and Judaic Studies faculty. The author of two previous verse collections, Cast Off (2015) and After Reading Everything (2016), his third book of poems, Under a Gathering Sky, is forthcoming from Stephen F. Austin State University Press in April 2024. His poems have appeared in three anthologies, been translated into five languages, and nominated for multiple awards. Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology, 1867–2017, which he edited, won a 2018 Nebraska Book Award and was included on NPR’s “50 States” summer booklist (2022). His latest anthology, Dispatches from the Republic of Letters: 50 Years of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature (2020), was a Publishers Weekly starred pick. Most recently, he served as consulting editor for the Best Literary Translations annual anthology, forthcoming from Deep Vellum in spring 2024. He is a member of the Academy of American Poets, PEN America, Nebraska Center for the Book, and the Norman Arts Council Roundtable. The grandson of Czech and Irish immigrants, Daniel grew up in Nebraska along the banks of the Platte River. He and his wife currently live in Norman, Oklahoma, and have three daughters. (Author photo by Alba Simon)