Rustin Larson’s exquisitely crafted new collection mixes the ordinary, real world with surreal, fantastical visions. “I arrive at a mansion / Surrounded by fallen branches/ And ice. / Inside are chairs / That resemble lions / Or laws / Or the boredom of kings.” He reminds us of the magical realism of Gabriel García Márquez and Jorge Luis Borges: “A piano, / With its keys locked under its cover, / Is some giant creature / At the bottom of the sea, /Waiting.” Like a painter saturating the colors of Earth, exalting its geography from delirious beauty to war nightmares, Larson takes the reader on a dreamlike journey, filled with flashbacks, family memories, and ghosts. –Hélène Cardona, award winning author of Dreaming My Animal Selves / Le Songe de mes Âmes Animales.
Memoir poetry of the 20th and 21st Centuries. “Like Odysseus, Larson has been trying to find his way home, or at least to redefine that home. Larson’s vehicle for his journey is the process of writing itself, which he has dedicated himself to and which he knows can be both circuitous and serendipitous. But the writer who pursues his craft, like Odysseus who pursues the journey home, must have patience. . . the poet and his journey are one.” —Stephen Schneider, Pirene’s Fountain
And many, many thanks for the surprise of “Library Rain.” I jumped right into it, and it’s not just that you can unfailingly find a poem in anything you come across and commit to it, but that every one of them is a hit out of the park. I have to admit that I had to turn to “Man Arrested…” immediately, just running down the contents, and what a ride!…but then I started at the beginning and read as you intended, and all fall together in a piece, and there you are. An aesthetic that keeps right apace with every quirky subject.
–Audrey Bohanan, author of Any Keep or Contour, finalist for the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize
“Dear Rustin, What a nice surprise to find your new book in the mail yesterday! Great work! So far ‘Relativity Cube’ is my favorite—so familiar to my heart. Thanks for all you’ve done for the world of poetry in Iowa and beyond.”
–Mary Swander, Poet Laureate of the State of Iowa
“I’m loving reading Library Rain! Each poem leads me to different worlds–personal stories of your day to day or your past, but also musings on philosophy and realities beyond. In hours lost in reading, I go on journeys with your mind as my companion. I am moved, I chuckle and am charmed. And upon my return, everything seems more alive and whimsical to me.”
–Nynke Passi, author of Oom Ealse and the Swan, finalist in the 2014 Jeffrey E. Smith Editor’s Prize of The Missouri Review.