The Moving Out: Collected Early Poems
Page Count: 206
Publication Date: Thursday, March 28, 2019
Cover Artwork: “Tanana Logjam,” a print by Alaskan artist David Mollett
About this Book
The Moving Out: Collected Early Poems brings together all the poems from John Morgan’s first three books, each of which was chosen for publication in a national competition. These poems range from masterful short lyrics to longer narratives, including explorations of history, family and the arts. One ten-part poem recounts Morgan’s experiences in an Eskimo village at the tip of the Seward peninsula from which you can indeed see across to Russia. Another group of poems traces the changing seasons, month by month, from a ledge overlooking the Tanana River near his home in central Alaska. The book ends with the moving sequence Spells and Auguries, which deals with his son Ben’s near-fatal coma due to encephalitis and the long-term consequences of that illness.
"These poems are strong and full of carefully controlled feeling. They are tender and precise evocations of the moral and sensory life of man."
“John Morgan, one of our finest poets, draws on incandescent, creation-laden words to reveal the ‘authentic wilderness’ that flourishes within us and, yes, without us.”
editor of Contemporary American Poetry
“Morgan demonstrates that he understands the complexity and the enormous possibilities of the free-verse line. These poems are exposed, rich with affirmation, and always genuine.”
“What a beautiful human endeavor Morgan’s life is, expanding our vision with colorful masterful work. Poetry that is of service.”
in The Washington Independent Review of Books
John Morgan studied with Robert Lowell at Harvard, where he won the Hatch Prize for Lyric Poetry. At the Iowa Writers’ Workshop he earned his M.F.A. and was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize. In 1976, he moved with his family to Fairbanks, Alaska to direct the creative writing program at the University of Alaska. Morgan’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, The New Republic, The Young American Poets (Follett) and many other magazines and anthologies. He won the Discovery Award of the New York Poetry Center, as well as first prize in the Carolina Quarterly Poetry Contest. In 2009, he served as the first writer-in-residence at Denali National Park.