GB_GlassHarmonica[Click to purchase Glass Harmonica]

Heather McHugh’s superb introduction to Geoff Bouvier’s first book (Living Room, Copper Canyon Press) calls him “a poet’s poet,” because he focuses on developing possible modalities by which his prose texts refine “instruments of reference.”  In Glass Harmonica, he intensifies the power of lyric reference by intensifying the force of abstraction, so that he can capture the relation between the events and something close to textures of absolute impersonal necessity that seem fundamental to experience.  The effect is a strange demotic lyricism that manages to use properties of tense and mood to suggest a range of feelings involving how  the formal structure of language rubs up against human possibility. Glass Harmonica offers a remarkably fresh and unromantic way of exploring how lyric impulses can be absorbed within, and partially transform, what we are used to seeing as the merely serviceable aspects of prose.

                                                                           — Charles Altieri, author of The Particulars of Rapture