David Havird is the author of two collections of poetry, Map Home (2013) and Penelope's Design (2010), which won the 2009 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize. His poems have appeared in Agni, The New Yorker, Poetry, Sewanee Review, Yale Review and elsewhere. A native South Carolinian, he attended the University of South Carolina, where he studied under James Dickey, and the University of Virginia. He is a professor of English at Centenary College of Louisiana.
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In the poem that opens this career-spanning odyssey, a blind weaver, who is at once a grandmotherly Penelope and a Homeric bard, "maps you home" — home finally, as the concluding poem reveals, to the Swamp Fox-haunted lowlands of Havird's native South. Along the way, which threads through Hardy's Wessex, the Greece of Homer and Seferis, and Jack London's Valley of the Moon, we take our bearings in "elliptical" terrain, as Rosanna Warren describes the typical setting — landscapes through whose gaps emerge the ghosts of memory and myth to engage the living in scenes of infinite moment.
In Map Home, as in Havird's award-winning chapbook, Penelope's Design — but amply here — "the memories of 'a dream-disheveled child' in the Deep South unfold," as Eleanor Wilner observes, "into the meditative travels of the literary man in elegant poems riddled with starlight."
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