Bright Advent will be released by White Pine Press and the Marie Alexander Series in February 2017.
Praise for Bright Advent:
American history is most often rendered in prose, but perhaps it is best understood and best felt in poetry, or at least with the strong current of lyricism accompanying the narrative flow. Something dreamed-of and subtle floats alongside the historical facts, in order to mark the ironies of our collective and inevitable story. I’m thinking of Whitman, or Benet’s John Brown’s Body, or Robert Penn Warren’s Brother to Dragons, or most recently, Claudia Rankine’s Citizen. Here is a book to add to that distinguished tradition, an inquiry into Puritan history, whose answer can only be poetic—oozing with imagery, stinging with metaphor, and shining with allegory, the most profound reaches of the craft. Like many of its predecessors, this is an important book about the past, but it is for the present—and that brings much more to mind. While this is a book of serious historical query, it is also a book of serious imagination. That makes me admire it all the more. ~Maurice Manning
An important contribution to the growing body of documentary-based work in contemporary poetry, Bright Advent beautifully displays the ways in which poetic language, with its oblique and multiplicitous relationship to meaning, can fundamentally change our relationship to knowledge, opening us up to new modes of perception and understanding. Strong’s masterful handling of lively diction and inventive syntax and his sculptural use of page-space redraft an important piece of American history in ways that bring home the force and importance of these events, making them again vividly present. A stunning look at our nation’s emergence and its tremendous moral cost. ~Cole Swensen
From the Jacket Copy