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How Quickly What's Passing Goes Past

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How Quickly What's Passing Goes Past

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Lowell Jaeger has taught creative writing at Flathead Valley Community College for the past 30 years. In 2017 he was named Montana's Poet Laureate. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, winner of the Grolier Poetry Peace Prize, and recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Montana Arts Council. In 2010, Jaeger was awarded the Montana Governor's Humanities Award for his work in promoting civil civic discourse.

With striking clarity and grace, Lowell Jaeger reveals the grittier side of post-WWI American life. This is a chaotic world, where nothing stays put, and childhood is pervaded by the chronic fears of impending war, of unemployment, of an uncertain future. But Jaeger's poems are not without light. The recurring father in the poems is a millworker and a musician —and for him, music is a type of salvation. In one poem, the son sees his father and a neighbor “Making/ music barefoot in their undershorts/ on the curb.” Jaeger writes: “These men squeeze in a little laughter/ between shifts at the mill,” and that brief human moment sustains them.
—Corrinne Clegg Hales, Fresno State University
James and Coke Hallowell Professor of Creative Writing

How Quickly What's Passing Goes Past brings to vibrant life a post-World War II cultural landscape that underpins our national identity. Here is the bedrock family unit that persevered despite an incomprehensible Cold War backdrop: hard-working parents, kids shooting marbles for keeps, mill closures, baths in birth order, backseat battles, and paper routes. Lowell Jaeger brings great compassion, humor, and grit to his characters, and to their mid-century middle-American world—drawn so expertly we can almost touch it, even as we recognize it as irretrievable
—Kathleen Flenniken, Washington State Poet Laureate, author of Plume

Lowell Jaeger's poems are rich in detail and moving in spirit, wit, and retrospective insights. Even more powerful to me are his inherently (i.e., not preachy) activist poems about critical issues of war, ecology, and peace. The family scenes are local, but implicitly global as well in that they also reflect the hazardous conditions humanity must face both at home and in the larger world. His range is wide; his passions deeply felt. After immersing myself in his books and recalling the impressive reading he gave at the University of Arizona's Poetry Center, I have added him to my list of favorite contemporary poets.
—David Ray, author of Hemmingway: A Desperate Life

ISBN 9780983860358Edition 01Binding Paperback

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