Paperback Price: $11.95
Paperback ISBN: 978-1882295258

Selected Poem


Before the lights went out, looking back
in a full house, you must have seen
old faces child-like with expectancy.
The strangest things can happen. Here.
And then you knew we wanted dreams
where all the terrors that we learned
weren’t real, were real, here, in the dark:
dreams that flickered like venetian blinds
in white-frame houses where we stood
in halls with roses on the walls, stared
at doors the wind slammed shut, yelled
up stairs before we took one step,
and then another, up. And ran back down.
You took us only where we’d been
before, and then made every fear
come true. The hall that darkens
at the end, leads to darker rooms.
The door that keeps the unknown out,
lets it come in. The winding stairs
that draws us from our mothers’ laps,
won’t let us come back. We stand there,
looking up, and all the shrieks and
flapping wings we were woke up from,
we wake up to. And when we leave,
glad for light outside dim movie houses,
we grow back into day and wide, white streets.

The Arrival of the Future

“[B.H.] Fairchild’s ability not only to choose a story but to pace it and to reveal its meaning through the unfolding of the narrative is probably unmatched in contemporary American poetry. The incisive psychology, the vividly descriptive diction, the large repertoire of vocabulary, the weightiness of his settings and plots: all these contribute to the delightful sensation that one is reading, simultaneously, the best poetry and best prose. I cannot think of another living poet capable of delivering such pleasure….Not since James Wright has there been a poet so skilled at representing the minds and imaginations of ordinary American working people.”
The Southern Review

“With elegance and restrained subtlety, Mr. Fairchild interweaves topics that become something like musical themes, including the central theme of machine work. . . .Anyone who can lay claim to the authorship of this much excellent poetry wins my unqualified and grateful admiration.”
—Anthony Hecht

“In an American culture which has always ignored or disdained class issues, Fairchild and Philip Levine are the only contemporary poets… who take work and the working class as their subjects…. Almost throwbacks, like Steinbeck novels or Walker Evans photographs, Fairchild’s poems recover an America from which we have always turned our heads.”
PN Review (England)


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