Rustin Larson's poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Iowa Review, North American Review, Poetry East, Saranac Review, Poets & Artists and other magazines. He is the author of The Wine-Dark House (Blue Light Press, 2009) and Crazy Star (selected for the Loess Hills Book's Poetry Series in 2005). Larson won 1st Editor's Prize from Rhino Magazine in 2000 and has won prizes for his poetry from The National Poet Hunt and The Chester H. Jones Foundation among others. A seven-time Pushcart nominee, and graduate of the Vermont College MFA in Writing, Larson was an Iowa Poet at The Des Moines National Poetry Festival in 2002 & 2004, a featured writer in the DMACC Celebration of the Literary Arts in 2007 & 2008, and he was a featured poet at the Poetry at Round Top Festival in May 2012.
Challenging a reader's perspective while remaining accessible, direct and vulnerable, Rustin Larson magically turns the routine into the extraordinary. His ability to craft memories, whether shaded, flickering or luminous, entices readers of Bum Cantos, Winter Jazz, & The Collected Discography of Morning to linger, examine and encounter the significance of seemingly routine lives. Larson elegantly uses detailed, sensual images, chiming rhythms, and well-chosen, well-placed words to evoke layers of thematic content. Rustin Larson's poems entertain and inform while examining the many facets of the lives we endeavor to accept, enjoy and use for good purpose.
-Michael Carrino, author of By Available Light
Larson writes like an angel, but one who's willing to work both sides of the street.
-John Peterson, Wapsipinicon Almanac
Like Odysseus, Larson has been trying to find his way home, or at least to redefine that home. Larson's vehicle for his journey is the process of writing itself, which he has dedicated himself to and which he knows can be both circuitous and serendipitous. But the writer who pursues his craft, like Odysseus who pursues the journey home, must have patience... the poet and his journey are one.
-Stephen Schneider, Pirene's Fountain
Each poem in Larson's book is packed with as much detail as a short story. The narrator often alludes to literary works, famous as well as infamous people, easily identifiable locations on the globe, and renowned historical events that either relate to the poems thematically, or place the memories in history for the reader. The poems do not adhere to any one form, but rather, they take form as their contents require. Larson's writing style is multifarious.
-Stephen Page, Buenos Aires Herald
From moment to moment, Larson is surrealistic, Proustian, stand-up-comedy funny, dead serious, sad, ecstatic, deadpan. In Larson's multitude of stories and modes, there's always some layer of the writer concerned with craft, with metawriting... Write on, Rustin, write on.
-Vince Gotera, North American Review
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Helene Cardona's review in GoodReads Rustin Larson’s “Bum Cantos, Winter Jazz, & The Collected Discography of Morning” is a masterful collection of heartbreaking, haunting poems. Inhabited by ghosts, beautifully crafted, unhinged, fractured, they unravel memories. In “Earth into Day” Rustin writes, “If I close my eyes, I can almost hear the edge of the world scraping against some distant light, some change of earth into day…” The reader is transfigured too. From “Life Documented,” “…Then I sit on the edge of what I am and let the wind sing in my mouth.” On edge, from the sublime to despair, Rustin Larson writes about what it means to be human. A promise: “I will play the discography of morning, the rain, the house carved from bone.” This book lingers with you long after you read it, and begs to be read again. “…The only things are moments. Standing on the frontier of an enchanted forest, I thought you were ribbons of orange water.” Be enchanted.