Language for the Living and the Dead

"The voice of these poems lives in myth and dream, and therefore holds the secrets of our deepest hopes and desires. Ransick knows how to beautifully turn a line, forging music and image into moments masterfully crafted—moments that contain the high and low, bird wing and cloud, screwballs and mud. These poems haunt, humor, and cajole, while moving me to higher ground. By which I mean to say they lift me up and give me a new perspective on what it is to be human."


    —Michael Henry, author of No Stranger Than My Own

One poem in Chris Ransick’s new book is “Eternity, Colorado,” and that title could serve as a reader’s instruction for the entire work. Throughout, Ransick’s internal argument between the real and the sublime forges a fierce yet graceful art. In “Paris Conundrum” he sees at once “your shimmering tower / and your dirty gutters.” In “Cooking Lessons” he encourages us: “Break the egg carefully. / Not the world, though. Eat that / by the rough spoonful.”  Again and again Ransick shows us what we know to be true about the world but that only a strong poet can figure forth: that we are surrounded by both the visible and the invisible, light and darkness, life in death and death in life, which is why we need language both for the living and for the dead. With this book Ransick confirms his place as one of the poets explicitly rooted in Colorado–along with Thomas Hornsby Ferril, Reg Saner, Dave Mason, and others–who also have the gift to make it an emblem of eternity.

—David Rothman, author of The Book of Catapults

 

Transient

Lost Songs & Last Chances

Novel in its structure and broad in range of voice, this 2006 collection offers ten suites of varying music, length, depth, and tone. A pair of poems introduce each suite, an experiment in layers and pacing that ultimately binds the parts into a whole.  

Enjoy the show.

A Return to Emptiness

This collection of short fiction, a finalist for a Colorado Book Award in 2005, weaves disparate details of ordinary lives into stories unflinching in their realism. People go missing and lives teeter on the fulcrum of finding a kindred spirit, or losing one. Yet throughout, incidental humor flashes amid the pathos of everyday life, finally telling the overarching story of us all—the need to come to grips with our own isolation, and our need for one another.

Asleep Beneath the Hill of Dreams

Released in 2010, this collection explores the often permeable membrane between conscious and subconscious worlds. From the narrow lanes of the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise to suburban alleys where laughing children sprout wings and fly away, the strange becomes familiar and the familiar, strange.

 

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Never Summer

The acclaimed first collection won the 2002 Colorado Book Award for Poetry.

"To read the superb poetry of Chris Ransick is to step outside and take a deep breath of Colorado mountain air."  —The Rocky Mountain News.