Winner of the 2010 Colorado Prize for Poetry, selected by final judge Donald Revell.
Zach Savich’s first book, Full Catastrophe Living, won the 2008 Iowa Poetry Prize and received a New American Poet honor from the Poetry Society of America. His poems, essays, and book reviews have appeared in many journals, including Boston Review, Kenyon Review, A Public Space, Denver Quarterly, and Pleiades. A recipient of a BA from the University of Washington and an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Savich has lived and taught in Italy, France, New Zealand, and around the US. He currently teaches and studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he helps organize the jubilat/Jones Reading Series.
It is the poet who, undistracted by the imbecile telegraphy of this moment, dares to sustain a sustaining sound I most esteem and most warmly embrace. Zach Savich has written a book both intimate and vast, both tender and acidly candid. And with his long poem, “The Mountains Overhead,” he has entered that visionary company of poets who, by overturning Babel, lay the heavens at our feet.
Sparse, spare, these lines nonetheless overflow with a sheer and brilliant imagination-“The crows: hearing our voices through wires”; “the horses hold themselves like torches”; “the sun a dial tone” . . . The tension between minimalism of form and maximalism of concept and feeling gives this work a vivid, oddly crystalline, momentum. The central long poem unfolds one small leaf at a time, yet resists accumulation; instead it presents us again and again with the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the slightly uncanny: what would it be to sing instead of to say? This book gives us an intimation.