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August 12 , 2010

Rooms and Fields: Dramatic Monologues From the War in Bosnia


These poems are full of surprises: the gods talk; ancient authors talk; the dictionary talks; very memorably, the bridge over the Drina River, roughly between Bosnia and Serbia, speaks two haunting poems. The dead talk, wolves talk, a teacher talks, with a chorus. Sometimes I like to imagine this long poem being staged. What the music would be! Who would do the sets! What languages . . . Lee Peterson's Rooms and Fields: Dramatic Monologues from the War in Bosnia doesn't have a single wasted breath; its sense of necessity never lets up; I always feel that the people and animals and landscapes being written about are being honored. The work is compassionate and single-mindedly alive to its high purpose. What a rare thing it is to find the meeting of historical, political, and poetic wisdom." – Jean Valentine, Judge. Rooms and Fields is history not simply documented and explored but also deeply felt. A poetic inquiry, its concerns are uniquely and fundamentally intimate. Compassion drives this collection of spare and gracious poems.

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