Birth Marks

Overview

A poet of the working-class and city streets, Jim Daniels's fourteenth poetry collection travels from Detroit to Ohio to Pittsburgh, from one post-industrial city to another, across jobs and generations. Daniels focuses on the urban landscape and its effects on its inhabitants as they struggle to establish community on streets hissing with distrust and random violence.

Out here, silence scrapes its knuckles
in...

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Birth Marks

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Overview

A poet of the working-class and city streets, Jim Daniels's fourteenth poetry collection travels from Detroit to Ohio to Pittsburgh, from one post-industrial city to another, across jobs and generations. Daniels focuses on the urban landscape and its effects on its inhabitants as they struggle to establish community on streets hissing with distrust and random violence.

Out here, silence scrapes its knuckles
in an attempt at prayer.

Jim Daniels is Thomas Stockham Baker Professor of English at Carnegie Melon. Poetry editor for the scholarly journal Labor: A Working Class History of America, his awards include two National Endowment for the Arts Awards and the Brittingham Prize for Poetry.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

2014 Michigan Notable Book

Winner, 2014 Binghamton University Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award

Winner, Poetry Gold Medal for 2014 Independent Publisher Book Awards

“Jim Daniels inspires us, his consumers, to be a bold as he is—as aware—because his torrent comes from the enthusiasm of pure spiritual power – and as much as he ridicules religion, this man writes like he has God at his back.”
-Washington Independent Review of Books

"We don’t have enough contemporary writing on this topic, not of this quality, and not in the form of poetry, certainly … we need more poetry of this caliber, of this intent.”
-Coal Hill Review

“Reading Jim Daniels’ poems… reminds us that we are facing a muse, a working class poet who speaks from the alleys of Detroit or the narrow country road when he crosses the country with his bike … I’m mesmerized by the poems in his latest collection, Birth Marks."
-Voices de la Luna

“Daniels is playful with language, sometimes riffing on words and using free association to add a jazzy dynamic … Birth Marks is full of the poetic elements necessary for an engaging read.”
-Pittsburgh City Paper

“[Jim Daniels’] poems… have sung of our daily existence, the lives of the suburban and urban, the family and the loner, the lovers and losers, the workers and the unemployed. And contained inside these songs are our most pressing moral and philosophical issues, in language as it exists in the larger culture, the hot breath of the world-right-now, and also in a voice, across fourteen collections of poems, that [he’s] somehow made all [his] own—the necessary contradiction, I think, for any great writer.” -Justin Bigos, 32 Poems Magazine

“Daniels applies overt wit throughout his poems about the various characters and the backdrops they inhabit, especially when the narrator is commenting on his own experiences.” - Newpages

“Jim Daniels is one of the nation’s finest examples of a poet and fiction writer who has been able to mine his own working class and factory roots to produce literary works that cut deep with their sensitivity and truth,” -Michigan State University's Labor Education Program

“Jim Daniels’s Birth Marks is a deeply enjoyable read. Reading it, I remembered why his is the type of poetry my favorite poets try to emulate … The poems feature characters with finely tuned emotions, and each are captured by unforgettable imagery, each rendered in a different galvanized voice.” -Poets @ Work

“[Birth Marks is] the essential handbook into the goings-on in author Jim Daniels’ life … Between dark humor and unwholesome love, the poet gives us an unblinking view of the alcoholism in his family, the struggles of the working class and the shame he has felt surrounding it all.” -Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Place grounds us so much in how we generate writing, how we explore our words, how we articulate the home in us. Daniels reminds us not to forget how home builds us forward... This book is about home" -Passages North

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781938160165
  • Publisher: BOA Editions, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 9/3/2013
  • Series: American Poets Continuum
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 949,610
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Jim Daniels’ recent books include Trigger Man: More Tales of the Motor City and Having a Little Talk with Capital P Poetry, winner of the Midwest Book Award. His poems have appeared widely in such places as Billy Collins' Poetry 180 anthologies, Best American Poetry anthologies, the Pushcart Prize anthologies, and Ted Kooser's "American Life in Poetry" series. His poem "Factory Love" is displayed on the roof of a race car. Daniels has garnered such honors as the Brittingham Prize for Poetry, the Tillie Olsen Prize, the Blue Lynx Poetry Prize, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and two from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He is the Thomas Stockham Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University, where he received the Ryan Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Elliott Dunlap Smith Award for Teaching and Educational Service. A native of Detroit, MI, Daniels is a graduate of Alma College and Bowling Green State University. He currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA, with his family.
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