One Wild Word Away

One Wild Word Away

by Geffrey Davis
One Wild Word Away

One Wild Word Away

by Geffrey Davis


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When tensions veer between hope and despair, the ensuing fracture can swing like a scythe and cut a ragged seam between past and present. In One Wild Word Away, Geffrey Davis weaves a deft set of poems about illness, family, loss, and rebirth. The luxurious sonics and crisp descriptions in each line are haunted by grief and buoyed by love as the speaker confronts generational trauma and the potential loss of a loved one while in the process of raising his own son.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781960145161
Publisher: BOA Editions, Ltd.
Publication date: 04/23/2024
Pages: 75
Sales rank: 388,171
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.00(d)

About the Author

Geffrey Davis is the author of three poetry books, most recently One Wild Word Away (BOA Editions, 2024). Davis's second book, Night Angler, received the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets; and his debut, Revising the Storm, received the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and was a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Finalist. His poems have been published by The Atlantic, New England Review, ​​The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Orion Magazine​, Oxford American, PBS NewsHour, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. Davis currently lives in the Ozarks, where he teaches full-time with the Program in Creative Writing & Translation at the University of Arkansas.

Read an Excerpt


—for my son

Tonight, a storm. And I hear weak humming
drift down the throat of this rain-voiced house.
My son is asleep when

I check, but the first notes
sounded like the softness of him upstairs
learning by singing to soothe his own doubts.
I’ve answered that hymnal despair before;
I’ve been that odd wonder—no hidden talent,
just the boy who, if asked, would let a room
of unhomed siblings hear him trying to hush
the terror his own mind could not contain
but for song. Nightmares taught me young.
When the pale lady from my dreaming began
to blur with waking life, for days I trembled
through the winded dark of our tired trailer
to know the frightening figure had not
returned for my family. I whispered strange
psalms from bed to bed, window to window
banishing fear’s face. I must have sung.
I can’t imagine me back without the singing.
So, I tell any self not yet tucked inside a warm
if dreamless rest: Sing for home. Sing, then sleep

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