In the Press

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In LeRoy Sorenson’s poems we find
a protagonist who confronts, in a truly remarkable way, the people and communities of the American Prairie;
this is a protagonist who, having “escaped” the small towns he writes about, refuses to abandon them. And what more can we ask for? These are poems about family, religion (or lack of it), slaughterhouses, addiction, violence, difficult love, history and the enduring human desire for connection and tenderness against the odds.

 

– Jude Nutter, author of
I Wish I Had a Heart Like Yours, Walt Whitman, Dead Reckoning, and two other collections.

 

LeRoy Sorenson's gritty, visceral poems in Railman's Son are deeply informed by the wounding of class.  In this, Sorenson is brother to poets like Philip Levine and James Wright, daring to break the silence on an "ism" kept by many otherwise progressive peers.  Rarely in recent poetry do we encounter so many vivid details of the traditional working class life.  "There is nothing so pure as work," Sorenson says without apparent irony, yet work is also what chews up and spits out so many lives.  Thus this book becomes a kind of ambivalent elegy to an older way of being in the world.  In harnessing such tensions, Sorenson frighteningly reads "the shorthand of American rage," of which we should all take heed.   

– Thomas R. Smith, author of

Storm Island and several other collections