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That Naked Country


That Naked Country

  • by Philip Raisor


    “Like Woody Guthrie one finds Philip Raisor holding back the end of the world. His poems slow dance with the past, from the American Revolution to another black body lying on the ground. Raisor ponders the distance traveled between Crispus Attucks and Michael Brown. He measures the word revolution against the pulse of history. He writes as an elder observing the turmoil in the world. It is not just the country that is naked but sadly ourselves. Raisor reminds us that we have choices. History is still our home. We must do our best while being surrounded by crumbling buildings. We cannot continue to believe Canada is an option.”

    – E. Ethelbert Miller, Host of On The Margin with E. Ethelbert Miller, WPFW 89.3 FM

    “The measure of a poet’s character is his or her capacity to include others, their griefs, their joys, their hopes for a better country for their children. That Naked Country by Philip Raisor is a big-hearted book populated by countless people on the verge of another life—rebels on the verge of another country remade by their will, violence, and hopes for justice. It’s a book about enlarging America’s character. The student protests of Kent State, Bacon’s Rebellion, the Watts riots, Andersonville Prison, the First Serbian Uprising, the American Revolutionary War—these are among the points in time that the poems revisit to examine the spirit of humane progress, activism, and good citizenship. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, ‘When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.’ With its hard-earned kinship with historical wisdom, That Naked Country is full of startling and much needed illuminations.”
    – David Fenza, author of The Interlude, and former executive director
    of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP)

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