Published by Stephen F. Austin University Press
Cover Art: Amarylis by Elaine Spatz-Rabinowitz, oil on plasticized Hydrocal, 7″ x 11″Called “tough, taut, and tender” by celebrated feminist author Sandra Gilbert, the “muscular narratives [and the] skillfully paced elegies and meditations” of The Consecrations hold to human love and empathy as tools to help weather what can seem imminent threats against personal and public life.
“Among other things, the book’s many-angled focus is with a future that is never revealed until it is upon us,” said Clark. “I wrote almost all these poems before COVID, and the pandemic now casts them in greater relief even though the disease isn’t mentioned. How do we approach what we can’t know—and how do we cope? I try to look squarely at such uncertainty with the hope that the best elements of human desire can sustain us.”
As poet and commentator Paisley Rekdal notes, The Consecrations is marked by both “complex and highly readable poems [that] refuse to ignore the fact of our physical suffering even as the book finally celebrates the desires that keep us tethered to the world.”
“Kevin’s imagination radiates in many directions and consistently takes readers into surprising realms without ever losing contextual sight of terra firma,” says SFAUP publisher Kim Verhines. “In any poem, you may find yourself happily bewildered, strangely buoyant or caught off-guard, even a bit frightened,” says Verhines, “but the musicality of each tight line keeps you moving toward the possibility of resolution.”
Perhaps unusual for our times, The Consecrations occasionally insists on the potential of romantic love. “Throughout the book, a powerful loveliness and affirmation for things made holy encompass Clark’s poems,” observes Mark Sanders, winner of the Western Heritage Award. “We understand: faith, love, and commitment obliterate walls, and take us to sight beyond sight.”
Praise for The Consecrations
Kevin Clark’s The Consecrations is a timely book about fear and faith—in particular, the many spiritual, philosophical, and familial beliefs that keep us afloat through the crises that punctuate our lives. These complex and highly readable poems, where ‘heaven’s just a wet dream,’ refuse to ignore the fact of our physical suffering even as the book finally celebrates the desires that keep us tethered to the world.
—Paisley Rekdal, author of Nightingale and The Broken Country: On Trauma, a Crime, and the Continuing Legacy of Vietnam
Kevin Clark’s wide-ranging poems—muscular narratives, skillfully paced elegies and meditations—are taut, tough, and tender. The Consecrations radiates love, material and spiritual.
—Sandra M. Gilbert, author of Judgment Day and On Burning Ground: Thirty Years of Thinking about Poetry
Throughout the book, a powerful loveliness and affirmation for things made holy encompass Clark’s poems. We understand: faith, love, and commitment obliterate walls and take us to sight beyond sight.
—Mark Sanders, winner of the Western Heritage Award and author of Conditions of Grace: New and Selected Poems