"Before heaven will suffice, I go listening for a word,
Its oily meat, its newborn orbit. Come with me, now."
--From "Inside Hell's Kitchen"
As the son of a sailor who grew up on Lake Erie, J.P. White is given to sudden violent storms and rough water that test and shape a man's grasp on the living. No matter how far his poems travel--Russia, Bermuda, Italy, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Mexico, France, New York City, Africa--water is never far from the elemental current that feeds them. As such, his poems are brightly lit with a searching out of islands, distant cities, and those thin places where the truth of our wounds and our wonder shine through.
The new poems in "All Good Water" speak convincingly about the death of friends and family, the renewal of marriage, lost shoes, abandoned children, and failed boats, as well as larger troubles in the torn fabric of America and our historic obsessions with expansion and blood purity.
In the last thirty-five years, J.P. White has published essays, articles, fiction, reviews, interviews, and poetry in over a hundred publications, including "The Nation," "The New Republic," the "Los Angeles Times Magazine," "The Gettysburg Review," "The American Poetry Review," and "Poetry." He is a graduate of New College in Sarasota, Florida; Colorado State University; and the Vermont College of Fine Arts. He is the author of four books of poems and the novel "Every Boat Turns South."
"(These) poems speak convincingly about the death of friends and family, the renewal of marriage, lost shoes, abandoned children and failed boats."--Mary Ann Grossmann, Saint Paul Pioneer Press