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March 1997
120 pages  

6 x 9
9780822956365
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Blessing the House
Daniels, Jim
Jim Daniels’ Blessing the House visits the sites of domestic faith - Catholic schools, sex and marriage, childbirth - in an attempt to witness a world worth believing in. In their search for hope, grace, and decency in the small dramas of an individual life, these poems become larger, more overtly political and express a genuine interest in human emotion.
Jim Daniels has published four books of poetry, as well as six chapbooks. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and has been awarded a Pushcart Prize. A native of Detroit, Daniels is currently a professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University, where he directs the creative writing program.
“Daniels' strength lies in his ability to be simple and complex, sensuous and spiritual, social and private as he searches for ‘faith.’ . . . Through literate, unpretentious language, [his] lines reflect the complexities of parenting and religion.” —Terrance Hayes, In Pittsburgh

"Reflecting upon death and our ability to move on after the initial shock, these poems resonate with meaning not only for the individual self, but for society at large. . . . Daniels manages "to overcome the paradox of the death of too many and the pain of so many more, yet to still continue as if existence made any sense at all.”—Poetry International

“[Daniels's] talent remains as strong and defiant as ever. . . . What appeals to me most in these new poems is how Daniels experiences the world he moves in and through. He feels it with his entire self.”—Samuel Hazo, Carnegie Magazine

“The book's power lies in its generous, stable sense of moral gravity—with its author not preaching above us but working things out beside us.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“These are tender, moving, and nostalgic poems about an American life, beautifully wrought and vividly close to the experience of all of us born in small towns.”—Carolyn Kizer

“Daniels searches through the darkness of his past with the revealing flashlight of his language. He shows how what was is still turning in his life; he shares the echoes he hears; he sways in the circles of time, and with him we discover the still burning ashes of memory. . . . What is so appealing about Daniels's poetry is its vividness and immediacy, his arrangement of details that make the scenes, the characters, the memories come alive.”—West Branch

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In his fourth book of poems, Jim Daniels visits the sites of domestic faith - Catholic schools, sex and marriage, childbirth - in an attempt to witness a world worth believing in. A sense of search unites these poems, whether they take place on the cement slabs of a 1950s Detroit suburb or on the hillside cemetary of an Italian village. In their search for hope, grace, and decency in the small dramas of an individual life, the poems of Blessing the House become larger, more overtly political. They are, as Daniels writes, “prayers for this world, with their clear consequence.”
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