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Poetry. In TEXASES, his fifth collection of poems, John Poch offers readers a kaleidoscope through which to view his home state its geography and people, its past and present. Here is a mix of forms (prose poems, formal poems, free verse) and moods (awe, critique, humor) as vast and varied as the Texas landscape.
In TEXASES, John Poch's vision of his land is as real as mesquite debris or a governor who 'jogs just down the road / with a pistol for coyotes.' At the same time, it is ethereal, entering poems visited by angels and biblical cadences and scriptural tones. Indeed, it is everywhere. Poch creates this landscape and its people with skill and beauty, in a voice that combines wisdom and humor, enlivening a book that is a joy to read. Grace Schulman
Like the 'staked plains, dry-land, long view man' he praises in one poem, John Poch knows the harsh beauty of Texas, and in this new collection he gives us a plural, abundant portrait of his beloved place. Here are prose poems, sonnets, villanelles, and all the enduring pleasures of formal verse, brought back down to earth by Poch's unflinching eye, and his hard-won knowledge of work, and people, and the past. TEXASES is a kind of psalter, full of graceful and moving love songs to the land. Patrick Phillips
Poch's work embodies a powerful range of moods that make him a companionable tour guide; his verse shines with clear-sightedness, beauty, charity, and grace. Ultimately, TEXASES showcases the work of a gifted poet whose vision is connected to the place he's made his home, a place whose past and present offers potent insights for our time and times to come. Jane Satterfield, Literary Matters