Chosen for the Suggested Spring 2008 Good Reads list for Poetry by the National Book Critics Circle
Echoing the muscular rhythms of the heart beat, the poems in this stunning collection alternate between contraction and expansion. Eric Gansworth explores the act of enduring, physically, historically, and culturally. A member of the Haudenosaunee tribe, Gansworth expresses the tensions experienced by members of a marginalized culture struggling to maintain tradition within a much larger dominant culture. With equal measures of humor, wisdom, poignancy, and beauty, Gansworth’s poems mine the infinite varieties of individual and collective loss and recovery. Fourteen paintings punctuate his poetry, creating an active dialogue between word and image steeped in the tradition of the mythic Haudenosaunee world. A Half-Life of Cardio-Pulmonary Function is the most recent addition to Gansworth’s remarkable body of work chronicling the lives of upstate New York’s Indian communities.
Eric Gansworth (Onondaga) was raised on the Tuscarora Reservation and is professor of English and Lowery Writer-in-Residence at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.