The Gatehouse Heaven

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James Kimbrell

In his debut collection (selected by Charles Wright as the 1997 winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry), Kimbrell revisits the mysterious landscapes of childhood and returns with poems that fathom meaning yet retain a sense of awe. The book's title section, a poignant ten-part poem, portrays a son's lifelong struggle to connect with a father made absent by mental and physical illness: "It's quite/The wonder, what madness can do for a man,//Much more than me far below the harsh light of heaven/Down here, in the make-shift center of this world." The Gatehouse Heaven serves as testament and guide to the kind of love that lies beyond anger.