Standing around the Heart


Poems by Gary Fincke
978-1-55728-786-1 (paper)
July 2005


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Gary Fincke’s new collection is a poetry grounded in memorable places and characters. He wants readers to remember the voices they hear in the poems, the work the characters do, the families they have, the things they believe in and strive to live up to. There is also a sense of the larger world layered into nearly every poem—history, politics, science, culture. Here too are poems about the mysteries of adolescence, capturing moments of youthful dreaming and wishing. Told in a confiding tone, these are very accessible and inviting poems about the way we redeem ourselves daily, a poetry that, as distinguished poet and critic Edward Hirsch put it, “memorializes the past and honors the life lived.”

Gary Fincke is a professor of English and director of the Writers’ Institute at Susquehanna University. He has published sixteen books of poetry and short fiction as well as Amp’d, a memoir, about his son’s rock band. He has won numerous awards, including two Pushcart Prizes and the Flannery O’Connor Prize for Short Fiction for his collection, Sorry I Worried You. Among his previous poetry collections are Writing Letters for the Blind, winner of the Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award, and Almanac for Desire. He was also the coach of his university’s men’s tennis team for twenty years.

Standing around the Heart shows Gary Fincke at his inimitable best. . . . Fincke writes a poetry of abiding generosity, of true feeling and thought. His is an essential American voice.”
—Rodney Jones, author of The Kingdom of the Instant

“Marvelous poetry that is both accessible and yet strange, both true and yet mysterious.”
—Andrew Hudgins, author of Ecstatic in the Poison

“History may be one damned thing after another, but this book shows that the broken things of this world can be made to mean and sometimes even shine.”
—Julia Kasdorf, author of Sleeping Preacher