"Inside The Splintered Wood is tender and deeply human. Myles Gordon is simply an outstanding poet." - Kathleen Spivack, author of With Robert Lowell And His Circle

"Inside The Splintered Wood is a very funny book. But don't take this poet lightly. He'll be the one telling the "joke of utter humanity" when the place blows up."
- Natasha Saje, author of Bend

"...The debut collection from Myles Gordon is at once brave and ravenous; an embodiment of love starved for itself."
- Brendan Constantine, author of Calamity Joe

"A remarkable sonnet sequence lies at the heart of Myles Gordon's brave collection about family and history and the resulting wounds and recovery. "
- Jennifer Barber, author of Given Away

Friday, August 30, 2013


When I was in my young thirties, I was browsing in the Grolier Book Shop, in Harvard Square, when Seamus Heaney walked in. The proprietor of the Grolier, Louisa, liked me, primarily, I think, because I always bought a book when I went to her shop. So she introduced me to Heaney, which prompted me to buy one of his books - Seeing Things. I was going through my shelf of poetry books at home yesterday and happened to pull that book out at random (it has a lovely photograph of a sculpted gold ship on the cover) to find that he had actually autographed the book. I remember him in that brief encounter as rumpled and polite - polite as any poet would be when supplied with cash money for a book - and probably more so than that. I also was lucky enough to catch him at the AWP conference this year in Boston, engaging in conversation with Derek Walcott, moderated by Rosanna Warren. At one point, Walcott praised Heaney effusively, to which a smiling Heaney replied, "I will pay back the compliment, but not right this moment. That wouldn't be decorous." I'm glad I had these brief, close encounters with the great poet. I have read again and again the section in "Station Island," where the gunned down protagonist eloquently speaks to the uselessness and horror of sectarian violence, and tried my best many times to approximate Heaney's smooth terza rima. In other words, his poetry had a big influence on me, and influences me still. To paraphrase Auden - "Earth receive and honored guest/ The poet Heaney is laid to rest."

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