Gregory Donovan

Gregory Donovan is the author of Torn from the Sun (Red Hen Press, forthcoming) and Calling His Children Home (University of Missouri Press, 1993), which won the Devins Award for Poetry. His poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, 42opus, diode, Crazyhorse, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Gulf Coast, Copper Nickel, and many other journals, as well as in a number of anthologies, including Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets of Virginia (University of Virginia Press, 2003). Among other awards for his writing, he is the recipient of the Robert Penn Warren Award from New England Writers, as well as grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and fellowships from the Ucross Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Donovan is a faculty member in Virginia Commonwealth University’s graduate Creative Writing program, where he serves as Director of Creative Writing, and he is Senior Editor for Blackbird.

All Books

Torn from the Sun

Gregory Donovan

Publication Date: April 14, 2015

$18.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 978-1-59709-326-2


Both daring and exacting, Torn from the Sun journeys beyond the ensnarements of mortality into a freedom from fear. The poems’ meditations, rendered in supple language and forms, invite us to step into the footprints of Miyamoto Musashi, John Coltrane, Walter Benjamin, Jorge Luis Borges, and Vincent Van Gogh–and the author himself–as they fly and fall through their own labyrinthine paths. Torn from the Sun weaves a mosaic of steps that stir the ashes of rebirth, a recognition that these bewildering corridors are not simply a prison, but a ritual space for inner discovery. Traced in this poetry is a way out, and it is the way in.

Praise for Torn from the Sun:

“In Gregory Donovan’s Torn from the Sun, the extraordinary voices that populate this collection are both historically resonant and meditatively complex. In the tradition of storytellers who, after wandering the globe, return home with phantasmagoric tales of hope, evil, and redemption, Gregory Donovan allows his speakers to reflect upon their times and passage through the many labyrinths that confront them. Torn from the Sun is psychologically intricate, resolutely thrilling, and an immaculately crafted volume of poems.”—David St. John

“Donovan’s new book collects a wisdom poetry with all the peril that this implies—not the glamorous jeweled armpit of some Greek oracle who can place large crystals of salt in your brain, but that and the wonder of fragrant basil in the goat manure outside the entrance to her cave. These are our first ideas, our oldest ideas made memorable again. A brilliant book.”—Norman Dubie

“Lush in sound and image, the poems in Torn from the Sun look through the lenses of natural, personal, and collective history to ask how we endure in loss and in beauty. I loved this opening couplet from ‘Ravens at Tamalpais’: ‘Bald white trunk & dead black bark, toc-toc. Small shrugs / in long black coats, their stripped pine whipping at the skyline . . .’ Donovan offers us a deep and immersive read, full of loving detail and thought.”—Dana Levin