Here and Hereafter


Poems by Elton Glaser
978-1-55728-796-0 (paper)
July 2005


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The poems in distinguished poet Elton Glaser’s sixth collection journey through the seasons, from spring to spring, a pilgrimage down to the South, over the Midwest of snow and roses, and across the Romance countries of Europe. If the poet often finds himself “[h]alfway between grief and longing,” that may be his natural condition, rooted in this world against the pull of the next, his faith in the “purple evidence of plums, the testimony of wild persimmon” weathering the stormy preachers and the droughts of middle age. Within that tension, the range of tones is unlimited, sometimes in the same poem, moving from the serious to the sublime, from anguish to awe. Holding everything together is Glaser’s unmistakable voice, a warm idiom made pungent by wintry wit: “my tongue of odd American, my mongrel sublime.”

Elton Glaser, a native of New Orleans, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Akron. He is the editor of the Akron Series in Poetry at the University of Akron Press, where he was the director for a number of years. Some of his previous poetry collections include Pelican Tracks and Winter Amnesties. He has received the Iowa Poetry Prize and the Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize as well as awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council.

Here and Hereafter is a sly guidebook to the intricacies and mysteries of human existence. Glaser blends the charm and wit of a Southern storyteller with the ironic gaze of an Ohio suburbanite. . . . Glaser is a poet you want to travel with—his vivid, eloquent lines are full of surprise and adventure.”
—Denise Duhamel, author of Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems and Kinky

“A Louisiana wise guy living in the heart of the heart of the country, Elton Glaser in these poems celebrates available joys. As always, his language is exact and surprising. For wit, and for the precision of right words in the right order, few of his contemporaries can equal this poet.”
—Ed Ochester, author of Land of Cockaigne and Snow White Horses: Selected Poems, 1973–1988