Richard Hugo visited places and wrote about them. He wrote about towns: White Center and La Push in Washington; Wallace and Cataldo in Idaho; Milltown, Philipsburg, and Butte in Montana. Often his visits lasted little more than an afternoon, and his knowledge of the towns was confined to what he heard in bars and diners. From these snippets, he crafted poems. His attention to the actual places could be scant, but Hugo's poems resonate more deeply than travelogues or feature stories; they capture the torque between temperament and terrain that is so vital in any consideration of place. The poems bring alive some hidden aspect to each town and play off the traditional myths that an easterner might have of the West: that it is a place of restoration and healing, a spa where people from the East come to recover from ailments; that it is a place to reinvent oneself, a region of wide open, unpolluted country still to settle. Hugo steers us, as readers, to eye level. How we settle into and take on qualities of the tracts of earth that we occupy -- this is Hugo's inquiry.
Part travelogue, part memoir, part literary scholarship, The Car That Brought You Here Still Runs traces the journey of Frances McCue and photographer Mary Randlett to the towns that inspired many of Richard Hugo's poems. Returning forty years after Hugo visited these places, and bringing with her a deep knowledge of Hugo and her own poetic sensibility, McCue maps Hugo's poems back onto the places that triggered them. Together with twenty-three poems by Hugo, McCue's essays and Randlett's photographs offer a fresh view of Hugo's Northwest.
Watch the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8_W1FZn06w
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Number of pages: 260
Weight: 748 g
Dimensions: 229 x 178 x 23 mm
Displays how two poets, Hugo and McCue, and one great photographer may bring history alive in the imagination and create a unique contribution to the historical record.-- Daniel Lamberton * Pacific Northwest Quarterly *
This book is a treasure, a big open car going far and wide to find the source of poetry. . . . The design of our experience is a rich ambidexterity: McCue reaches outward into the world by visiting the towns and observing them closely while reaching inward through her familiarity with the Hugo Archives and her own acute poetic sensibility. The result is a reading of the poems that is remarkable informed.* Western American Literature *
As it explores-even bolsters-his mystique as the poet of the modern American West, it simultaneously critiques that romanticized vision. Its brilliant strategy is to complicate genre.... The photographs themselves are enough to recommend this gorgeously produced book. Often stark, these black and white portraits of places Hugo's poems memorialize illuminate skeletal glimmerings of towns....* Rain Taxi *
This is a book for people who love pilgrimage. Twenty-four of Hugo's best poems of place are sandwiched in between Randlett's photographs and McCue's tightly written, deceptively broad essays.* jorymickelson.blogspot.com *
Hugo's own story merges with McCue's observations and interviews with the poet's friends (including Lois Welch, Bill Kittredge and Annick Smith) in a way that adds texture, detail and insight to a journey that's both literary and deeply personal.* Lively Times *
Whether you love poetry or just love to read of those pursuing their passions The Car That Brought You Here Still Runs by Frances McCue is for you.* The Philipsburg Mail *
This is a book worthy of its subject: smart, beautifully written, with stark images and poignant reticences.* City Living *
An audacious new book from the University of Washington Press offers one great way to mark April as National Poetry Month. McCue's book is an ambitious amalgam of intentions. There are components of homage, literary criticism, biography and anthology all relating to Hugo. There is significant environmental reportage inspired by Hugo's poetic observations. Lacing all this together is McCue's own memoir recounting road trips designed to trace Hugo's steps..Randlett's stark photographs drive the point home-Hugo found things to love in the unlikeliest places.-- Bookmonger * Bellingham Herald *
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