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John Smelcer

In the mythologies of cultures worldwide, Raven, or his smaller cousin
Crow, is often portrayed as an ever-selfish, ever-hungry trickster
and destroyer. In this collection, John Smelcer has crafted Raven as
all these things, but also as an Instigator who was present at key moments
of human history when things went awry. This is the collection
that Ted Hughes considered to be the American cousin to his Crow.

“From the Far North comes Crow’s bigger cousin jabbering news of
this poet.”—Ted Hughes, Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom

“In clean clear language Smelcer takes this knotty cosmic riddle, cruel
compassion, treacherous beauty, trickster Raven God—or human beings—
and tries out his tough, funny poems.”—Gary Snyder, Pulitzer Prize winner

“John Smelcer is a myth-maker. He has his own tongue, ancestry,
ancient tribal ground. And coming out of those particularities, his
myths ring true and touch us wherever we dwell in the here and now.”
—David and Helen Constantine, Editors of Modern Poetry in Translation

“In a world where such poets are more rare than people might imagine,
John Smelcer is one of the truly great poets I have come across in my
life. His poetry is genius.”—Ruth Stone, National Book Award winner
“Smelcer reinvigorates the midnight attitude of Raven, taking the legendary trickster into the Bible, where Raven easily competes with the
devil, and then into the contemporary world, where human beings writhe in response. The authenticity of Smelcer’s voice . . . makes an electric, multi-leveled series of parables for our often dark times.”
—Molly Peacock

Raven• John Smelcer

126 pages • ISBN 978-1-948585-03-3• Trade paperback, $15.00 • July 2019

Published by Leapfrog Press LLC • www.leapfrogpress.com

Distributed to the trade by Consortium Book Sales & Distribution • www.cbsd.com

Raven cover.


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