Up Here


Donald Schenker

Introduction By

Richard Silberg

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At a time when much of the literary world was concerned with the “urban heartbeat,” Schenker, in his sequence of poems “Hurd’s Gulch, 1986–1987,” was delighting in the minutiae and particular of the natural world. Be it quail, cows, or oak, small, precise details shimmer under Schenker’s examination. In his sequence “Austin Creek, 1969–1970,” Schenker uses a narrative of the momentary; an immediate vision or flash, like a car passing on a dark highway. The poems of Austin Creek inhabit that space on the edge of rural towns—longer lines and generous detail—although still the subject is nature as the elements deconstruct what work man has done. Throughout the book, Schenker maintains a fiercely ironic and self-conscious tone.