The Night Horse: New and Selected Poems
Brighthorse Books Omaha, NE 2018
“It’s about what can be bent,” William Reichard writes in a poem called “Bonsai.” Reichard’s poems are beautifully open to the “bent” in all its senses: the not-straight, the damaged, the curves the world throws us. These delicately etched lyrics are attentive to what Reichard calls “the intricacy of emotion.”
Mark Doty, author of the National Book Award winning Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems
The lifeline of this striking gathering from William Reichard's publishing history is the tensile strength of his fine attention, his refusal to look away either from the past or the present moment. This penetrating focus was evident from the first book and endures in the latest poems. Coming from what was once called the working class (or perhaps the rural poor), Reichard knows the power--for good and for ill--of silence. "I'm less willing to speak when I have/more to say" he writes, observingthe force of reticence and the resilience of language in the service of attention. There is a strong sensation of loss in the poems, but never of self-pity. These poems have a soul of elegy as they move across two decades, from a lonely boyhood into a charged artistic sensibility, ever faithful to the inner life of poetry--all this without losing his essential values of transparency and beauty.
Patricia Hampl, MacArthur Award-winning author of The Art of the Wasted Day and The Florist’s Daughter.