Where the Lighthouse Begins
Page Count: 66
Publication Date: Thursday, March 05, 2020
Cover Artwork: Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956) Water Birds, 1943 Oil on canvas 26 1/8 x 21 3/16 in. (66.4 x 53.8 cm.) The Baltimore Museum of Art: Bequest of Saidie A. May, BMA 1951.349 Photography By: Mitro Hood © 2018 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artis
About this Book
What lies behind much of the lyric poems in Where the Lighthouse Begins is a motivating sense of loss: in some poems, a dead father, an aging mother, a troubled brother; or, in other poems, a conflict, such as a war. The natural world also plays a major role, as a redeeming force, often in the form of the birds that are so much a part of the poet's life. Sometimes, too, humor is present as a source of relief. By the end of the book, readers may feel that the mystery of time is perhaps the most fundamental theme.
Praise for Timothy Houghton’s previous books
When sympathy goes with discernment, as in these poems, the light in things and events seems to turn up, and our wakened consciousness feels "hungry" for the new brightness.
Sono ben felice di presentare ai lettori italofoni questo volume di Timothy Houghton, a mio avviso tra i piu significativi poeti statunitensi contemporanei. (I'm happy to present [him] to Italian readers. I believe he is one of the most significant contemporary American poets.)
Stepping into [these poems] can be unnerving in the way entering a house where nothing is plumb disturbs. Here there are windows and doors, the familiar objects of our lives, but the panes contain spectral flaws, the hinges groan in voices we'd rather not recognize.
…a nostro avviso molto piu denso del piu fortunato in Italia Mark Strand o di Jorie Graham. (…by our lights he is more substantial than Mark Strand, who has much success in Italy, or Jorie Graham.)
…it is a revelation to encounter the poetry of Timothy Houghton…composed at the intersections of personal history, the natural world, science, and intellectual tradition where there is a precise sense of line and rhythm to create poems which inhabit the world and are in turn inhabited by the world.
After publishing for decades primarily in the U.S., TIMOTHY HOUGHTON has discovered what he sees as a vibrant world of poetry outside of America, particularly in Ireland and England, as well as other places in Europe, and has recently published in such venues as Stand, Galway Review, Agenda, Ambit, Oxford Poetry, The Reader, Dream Catcher, Poetry Salzburg Review, and Cyphers. He has received 30 fellowships allowing him to focus on his poetry and has worked at such artist retreats as Yaddo, MacDowell, and Hawthornden Castle. Houghton's The Internal Distance: Selected Poems 1989-2012 appeared in a bilingual, Italian/English edition from the Italian press Hebenon/Mimesis Edizioni in 2015. The translators are the well-known Italian poets and scholars Luigi Fontanella and Annalisa Macchia. The book was presented in Florence at the Museo Casa di Dante. Houghton's first book, High Bridges, was published by the English press Stride. Other of his books were published by Orchises Press in Washington, D.C. Recently retired after teaching literature and writing at various universities in the U.S. (most recently at Loyola University Maryland), he now focuses on conducting bird surveys for Audubon and eBird; he also is a field trip coordinator for Audubon. He lives with his wife, two children, and his dingo, Jazz, near Baltimore.