North American Stadiums
Publisher: Author's Republic
Winner of the inaugural Max Ritvo Poetry Prize, North American Stadiums is an assured debut collection about grace — the places we search for it, and the disjunction between what we seek and where we arrive.“You were supposed to find God here/the signs said.”In these poems, hinterlands demand our close attention; overlooked places of industry become sites for pilgrimage; and history large and small — of a city, of a family, of a shirt — is unearthed. Here is a factory emptying for the day, a snowy road just past border patrol, a baseball game at dusk. Mile signs point us toward Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Salt Lake City, Chicago. And god is not the God expected, but the still moment amid movement: a field “lit like the heart / of the night”, black stars stitched to the yellow sweatshirts of men in a crowd.A map “bleached / pale by time and weather”, North American Stadiums is a collection at once resolutely unsentimental yet deeply tender, illuminating the historical forces that shape the places we inhabit and how those places, in turn, shape us.