The Sound: New & Selected Poems

In The Sound, acclaimed poet David Mason collects his best shorter work of the past forty years, including lyrics like “Song of the Powers” and darkly brilliant narratives “The Collector’s Tale” and “The Country I Remember,” which Anthony Hecht called “a welcome addition to the best that is now being written by American poets.” A poet of love and history and nature, Mason forges a language that can reconnect us to the world.


“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, author of A Slant of Light

“From his first full-length narrative poem, The Country I Remember, to his extraordinary verse novel, Ludlow, David Mason’s ambition to expand the realm of narrative in contemporary verse has been central to his poetic project, even as successive collections revealed him as one of the best lyric poets of his generation.”—Charles Martin, author of Future Perfect

“One of our most authentic and accomplished poets at the top of his lyric form.”—Andrew Frisardi, author of Death of a Dissembler

An abstract painting of an orange sun and mountains with clouds, and script that reads The Sound new and selected poems by David Mason.

David Mason

Publication Date: April 9, 2018

Genre/Imprint: Poetry, Red Hen Press

$21.95 Tradepaper

Shop: Red Hen, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 978-1-59709-613-3


David Mason, THE SOUND poet, featured in The Wall Street Journal!

As recently as 1980, when I was living in a small village in Greece, I heard the oral tradition at work. A great keening of women erupted in the house across the dirt road, informing me that my elderly neighbor, Erasmia, had died. They were singing the dirges called moirológia, “fate-songs,” spontaneous compositions based on traditional […]

THE SOUND poet, David Mason, appears on the Australian Book Review podcast!

African American Poetry is an ambitious and wide-ranging collection of Black poetry. Edited by Kevin Young, a fellow poet and poetry editor of The New Yorker, the collection spans contemporary writers such as the Pulitzer Prize-winner Jericho Brown to literary giants such as Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Derek Walcott. As David Mason writes, ‘It needs to […]

Poet David Mason featured in the Times Literary Supplement!

Author of THE SOUND: NEW & SELECTED POEMS, David Mason is published on TLS with his new poem “Antipodes.” Read a brief excerpt below: i.m. Derek Mahon, 1941–2020 The death of the poet tenders a new start,one’s own slate of errors wiped clean, and the daycontributes a close horizon bound in fog… To read more, […]