The poems in this resonant book offer a strong, hands-on encounter with the world as it is, with the weather, geography, the trees, our fellow creatures. Attending to the muscular and physical realities of the local world, however, rightly leads these poems to the lesser-known and less-certain wonders of the metaphysical, to the apprehension, as far as the mind can reach, of a meaning beyond the limits of physical knowledge. What’s out there beyond the fog rising in a cove? What questions should we ask, only to voice them, knowing they have no ready answer? That strange little paradox is why we have poetry at all, and here is a fine book to prove that point, with elegance, and with elegant reserve.
–Maurice Manning — Author, Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions, Bucolics, The Common Man (finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry), and The Gone and the Going Away.
Larry Thacker writes of the natural world and what hovers on the edge of consciousness. Entities “seen in the corner of the eye” or “the sound of the sun” might manifest if one becomes still enough to see and hear. Drifting in Awe, gives us a manual for doing just that. In his first full length collection, Thacker invites us to be still and let that world come to us if we are brave enough.
–Jane Hicks — Author, Blood & Bone Remember (Appalachian Writers Association, 2006 Book of the Year) and Driving With the Dead (Appalachian Writers Association, 2015 Book of the Year).
Larry Thacker’s poems set about the difficult business of reconciling the seemingly irreconcilable: death & life, darkness & light, summer & winter, distant histories & the yet-to-be. As yet, somehow, he succeeds. Perhaps the secret is in the tenderness of Thacker’s attention, for these poems have as much regard for the dried-up earthworms on the sidewalk as they do for the spiraling arms of our galaxy, and they are both unapologetically masculine and unsentimentally affectionate. As much the child of Jack Gilbert as Ted Hughes, Larry Thacker is a poet in love with the world – warts and all – and in Drifting in Awe, he convinces us to love it, too.
–Doug Van Gundy — Author, A Life Above Water and co-editor of Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Fiction and Poetry from West Virginia