Gaylord Brewer’s ninth collection of poetry, Country of Ghost, is by turns harrowing, haunted, and darkly humorous, and always deeply felt. When the figure Ghost appears ‘crossing a bridge in Spain, beside a river of the dead in France, across a midnight lake in Finland’ our speaker follows into a ravenous geography of longing and regret. In this astounding sequence of poems, who has summonsed whom? Brewer’s folie à deux explores both the worlds of the living and of the dead, worlds alternately aching and tender, and of the spirits caught between them.
Praise for Country of Ghost:
“Brewer writes as if a sly old god, wounded, lost and yet to renounce his magic. Ghost is a tour de force, part Caliban, part Ariel. Revenant, bored, hungry and amazed, Ghost will be with us ever hereafter.”—Robert Olmstead
“In this work of haunting, the possibilities for fruitful speculation and reflection are great. Gaylord Brewers poems in Country of Ghost are, at once, whimsical and deeply affecting in their pathos. The many ghosts that inhabit these poems contend with the conundrum of regret, and desire. It takes precise, well-modulated poetry that is alive with metaphor, wicked puns, image, and acutely observed detail to achieve what Brewer does in Country of Ghost.”—Kwame Dawes
“The world of feeling that Brewer so urgently describes is complicated and dynamic.”—Asheville Poetry Review
“The poems are eerie, achingly honest, conversational, and beautifully, darkly funny. Even if we are tempted to turn away from the rotting, breaking, bruised, and bleeding body, we are drawn in by the human need, the fragility, the nostalgia, the bittersweet longing of the speaker and his Ghost.”—Prick of the Spindle
“Brewer manages to masterfully balance the ordinary and extraordinary. The consequent contrasts and juxtapositions elevate both conditions of ‘ordinariness’ into a kind of equilibrium of the sublime. A trademark Brewer poem: craft, precision, self-analysis, humor, endurance, and a razor-sharp epiphany.”—The Evansville Review