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Page Count: 92
Release Date: December 2020
About Flat Light:
In Mark Luebbers debut poetry collection, he frames his discussion with the condition of "flat light." A condition that makes it more difficult to see surfaces and details in contrast, distorts distances, and reduces color values. In order to see well in flat light, one must learn to see "without eyes." And in these poems Luebbers uses this more encompassing poetic vision to reconsider boundaries between wildlife and humanity,the depth of artists and their lives, and the manner that all of it touches the familiarity of our lives.
Praise for Flat Light:
“This quiet, usually low-key book has plenty of edge. The poems here observe landscape and consider that sense of space in broad terms. The poet gives us a derelict field and also a junkyard of pianos, roadway ditches and pavement, with wild creatures stitching the disparate realms together. Even history—the long shadows of American history paired with the more inspired sparks of art history, with its attendant vision and passion—is presented as landscape, as a literal and figurative space to contemplate, observe, and inhabit. It’s not a surprise that the primary idiom here is of elegant geometry, an effort to find the language that will suit our moment in which the whole cannot be experienced; instead we live with the pieces. And yet the artistic effort, always implied, in poetic form and dedicated lines, is to gain the ancient glimpse of continuity. Therein must reside a measure of hope.”
- Maurice Manning, author of Railsplitter (2019) and Common Man (2010), finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
“In Flat Light, Mark Luebbers uses his poetic gifts of keen observation to examine how the extraordinary hides in the seemingly mundane. In these poems, transformation is a mere look away, a kestrel becoming a goddess, a childhood desk becomes a star cruiser. Luebbers studies animals and flowers that may seem common and small and starts to see the world as a land of collection and connection. Lives both famous and ordinary pervade these poems, teaching us how to delight in the simple things, how “each creature gleans the spare world” and finds its riches in the remaining light.”
- Traci Brimhall, author of Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod (2020), winner of a Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award and a finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year Award
“In Flat Light language is sharply formed. These poems raise the quotidian to the level of art, and offer a penchant for creating compelling narratives within the framework of poetry. Luebbers addresses the intersection between wildlife and humans, how our ever expanding boundaries cross over into the natural world and thereby create new zones of existence and survival. This is a collection that breathes with insight and breadth.”
- Ken Holland, Winner of the 2019 Stephen DiBiase Poetry Contest