Poems by Jack Heflin
"Local Hope is a declaration of belief and confirmation in the face of uncertainty and disturbance. Place is vital to Heflin's vision, but it is the human interaction with place that has him questioning how we talk about the worlds we inhabit. Heflin troubles over the traumas, contradictions, ennui and pleasures of day-to-day life. The rich word selection, the absolute control of line, and the versatile syntax take the reader into a weird, bizarre, and yet surprisingly familiar crisis of existence. It is a wonderful book, with constant surprises, that comes together as a carefully composed whole."
"Local Hope should be read and then read again. These exhilarating, songful poems, which are such a joy to read, require attention and invite reflection. They are smart and tender, intellectually provocative and emotionally stunning. They celebrate the local, honor the past, and offer a bracing antidote to the ironic skepticism and fashionable obscurantism favored in some literary circles."
—John Dufresne, Requiem, Mass.
"Jack Heflin's voice is trained in every nuance and every masterful turn we have come to expect when we are in the presence of a master poet. In Local Hope, we encounter a set of remarkable poetic feats stretching and testing what we think we know about poems and about the human experience as it can be translated and articulated in the language of expected forms. Here is a poet who is a master storyteller and a technical genius. The language continually surprises and pleases, the forms continually stretch us, and the sensibility responsible for the revelations continually makes us both complicit and comforted by the common humanity they yield. And all of this mastery is held together by a wicked and joyful sense of humor that spices the poems throughout this triumph of a book."
—Darrell Bourque, Louisiana Poet Laureate, 2009-2011
"Local Hope is rich with the squall and scrape of material reality. It carries us along with wistful humor and playful language, with convincing descriptions and a wacky cast of characters. We are given roiling Whitmanesque catalogs of people and things, interacting but remaining exactly themselves. Here, the wild and voluminous variety is not redeemed through art; the poems steadfastly refuse to make that claim. Instead, here are solid presences in a tangible place, and everything born of this earth/whistles visibly in the wind."
—Ava Leavell Haymon
Softcover, 86 pages, ©2010