Long regarded as one of the best narrative and dramatic poets at work in the United States, David Mason has also been regularly producing soulful lyrics. In the ten years since the publication of his last collection of shorter poems, Mason has refined his art in the fires of wrenching personal change. The result is an almost entirely new poetic voice and his most rigorous and memorable book to date. Emotionally resonant and elegant in phrasing, the poems of Sea Salt, which have appeared in publications such as Best American Poetry, The New Yorker, Harper’s, and Poetry, are a powerful evocation of crisis and change. These “poems of a decade” demonstrate that the author of Ludlow: A Verse Novel and The Scarlet Libretto is also a lyric poet at the top of his game.
Praise for Sea Salt
“In these poems of loss, discovery and love, David Mason delivers a stunning collection that places him in a unique position in American letters. With language both simple and elegant, comprehending deeply if not always comfortably the human landscape, and finding solace in the natural world, his lines remind us that pathos lies alongside humor, that profound moments are often merely a glance away, that new possibilities in the business of living arise for those bold enough to seek them. In his embrace of tradition Mason transforms and ultimately transcends the form, making it wholly his own. A masterful poet, apart from the crowd.”—Jeffrey Lent
“Go to the heart of things, therein irony does not reside, Rilke tells us. These words came to my mind often as I read this newest collection from one of our country’s finest poets. Mason’s formal excellence is cause enough to celebrate these poems, but it is the emotional honesty, sentiment not sentimentality, that makes Sea Salt such a deeply moving and memorable reading experience.”—Ron Rash