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Vorhees – Heaven

About the Book

Heaven is a book of poetry by Duane Vorhees, the third in a trilogy of books published by Hog Press.

Praise for the Book

Heaven is Duane Vorhees’s third and, what he says, his last book of poetry or writing, in a series that is absolutely engaging and worth reading. What we come across in Duane’s writing is a restless inventiveness and a powerful ability to master the nuances of the English language in terms of form and creativity as well as originality that constantly keeps us on our toes, while at the same time his humour, irreverence, and humaneness also makes us stop to think regarding its content. A book with so many poems that sparkle…

– Dr. Koshy AV, Assistant Professor, Department of English
University of Jazan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Far more than the typical cafè stanzas, each entry is ablaze with wisdom and beautifully brutal. This is the kind of raw and orphic poetry we’ve been missing since Byron, or Bukowski. Heaven is more than verse; it’s the universal mirror made for saints and heathens alike. Here, every reader will find their reflection. 

    – Dennis Villelmi, editor of The Bees Are Dead webzine,
and author of Fretensis, In the Image of a Blind God

In Heaven, Duane Vorhees brings us a vision, astonishing in scope, yet elegant in its simplicity. East meets West in a collection of poems with such diverse influences as Yun Dong Ju, Doug Fields and William Blake. Chameleon-like, the poet glides skillfully between different voices and personas. 

He brings his signature playfulness with words, rhymes and structure — portmanteaus, haikus, a screenplay plot outline, even the writing journal of a subliterate. As you would expect in a collection titled Heaven, spirituality is the gossamer thread binding these pieces together. Mythology gets gleefully tossed into a blender: Pangu, Odin, Elohim, Eden, Allah, Prometheus and many others make appearances — sometimes all in the same poem. 

But nowhere does Vorhees seem to find spirituality more than in his communion with nature, painting beautiful pastorals with a distinctly eastern flair, with mountains and persimmons, crickets and water buffalo. 

This is the accumulated wisdom of a poet who has traveled, taught, loved, and seen it all. Now, he warns us of “our ominous modernity,” a world filled with people who have not only forgotten where we come from, but seem to have no idea what future we’re hurtling towards. Come ruminate with him on life and all of its messiness and glory: love, sex, nature, aging, mortality, mourning, political dissent, debauchery, and just day-to-day life. It’s all here.

– Lauren Scharhag, author of Languages, First and Last,
winner of the Seamus Burns Creative Writing Award.

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About the Author (by the Auhor)

I was born between Columbus and Eisenhower. The old world had found a new one and the new had liberated the old. So what was I to do?

(I could have tried to separate the loaf-givers and kneaders from the mere loafers and needy but lacked the baker’s cold measured eye.)

I was born in Grandfather’s house. My mother was there (of course), along with her pregnant sister. My cousin was born the following day in a car on her way to hospital. However, I later wandered and she stayed at home. But what was I to do?

(I could, I suppose, have busied myself among Grandfather’s wrenches and Grandfather’s hinges but chose to dabble with exotic wenches in orange.)

I was born with a forceps-shaped elongated head — my aunt joked that I looked like a comic strip dunce. Already, I was the center of unwelcome attention. And what was I to do?

(I hoped just to escape the python fangs of the world and avoid the pipe bombs’ bang.)

I was born in a pixelated family tree. Grandfather had married, sequentially, two sisters and had one daughter by each. So my mother and her sister
were cousins as well. And when Grandfather became adoptive father — my mother my sister, my aunt my sister, my cousin my niece. Then was I my uncle too? Who was I to do?

Hog Press published his previous collections of poems, The Many Loves of Duane Vorhees: Love’s Autobiography: The Ends of Love in 2019 and GIFT: God Runs Through All These Rooms in 2020.

Book Details

Publisher : Hog Press (January 18, 2021)
Language : English
Paperback : 164 pages
ISBN-10 : 1941892469
ISBN-13 : 978-1941892466
Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
Dimensions : 7 x 0.37 x 10 inches