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Not For Luck

Not For Luck

by Derek Sheffield
Not For Luck

Not For Luck

by Derek Sheffield




Selected by Mark Doty for the 2019 Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize

In Not For Luck, Derek Sheffield ushers us into the beauty and grace that comes from giving attention to the interconnections that make up our lives. In particular, these poems explore a father’s relationship with his daughters, which is rooted in place and time. There is tenderness and an abiding ecological consciousness, but also loss and heartache, especially about environmental degradation. We are invited to listen to the languages of other beings. Through encounters with a herd of deer, a circle of salmon in a mountain creek, two bears on a stretch of coast, a river otter, and a shiny-eyed wood rat, these poems offer moments of wonder that celebrate our place as one species among many on our only earth.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611863895
Publisher: Michigan State University Press
Publication date: 01/01/2021
Series: Wheelbarrow Books
Edition description: 1
Pages: 94
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Derek Sheffield is the author of Through the Second Skin, finalist for the Washington State Book Award. He is coeditor of Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy, poetry editor of, and a professor of English at Wenatchee Valley College.

Table of Contents

Timid as Any Herd Animal 1

Stewards at Work 2

The Scientists Gather at Mount St. Helens 3

April 4

Aubade 5

The Wren and the Jet at a Research Forest near Fort Knox, Seventy-One Years since the Bombing of Hiroshima, Eight Months since the Photo of a Three-Year-Old Syrian Boy Facedown on a Turkish Beach, His Red Shirt, His Blue Shorts 6

Fish Like These 7

Hitch 8

Traveling Again through the Dark 11

Good Girl 12

Daughter and Father in Winter 14

The Math of Two 19

Bedtime Story 21

The Science of Spirit Lake 23

For Those Who Would See 24

Emissaries 25

Emergency 28

First Grade 30

Her Calling 31

Monsters 33

We Could See 35

The Skookum Indian 36

In Nez Perce Country with Kevin 37

A True Account of Wood-Getting from up the Chumstick 38

C-3PO 39

What Happens 43

It Wasn't the Laundry 44

Exactly What Needs Saying 46

Abortion Wish 47

John Carter of Mars versus the Void 49

Notes, Descending 51

A Song for Today 53

Idaho, Maybe 55

Contextual Education 57

Still Time 59

What Will Keep Us 60

The Empty Road Full of People 65

The Nature of Time Was What They Were Talking About 67

At the Log Decomposition Site in the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest, a Visitation 68

A Moment Ago 70

Her Yarn 71

Opening the Curtains 73

Totality 74

Middle School 77

A Response to a Pair of Forest Plots 78

She Gathers Rocks 79

The Seconds 80

Her Present 83

Acknowledgments 85

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