Armored Hearts, combining new poems with a selection from previous volumes, offers the power of idiomatic narrative at its naked best. David Bottoms presents dramatic stories in rich language falling in natural and captivating cadences; he brings us into the terrain of ruin and hope and beauty, reminding us again and again that it is our own temporal reality, not the real world, that is fragile.
“It is refreshing to read a poet who is not obliquely vague, who tells a story cleanly and convincingly, and yet who will not close down mysterious and complicated things about life that simply defy such closure.” —Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Bottoms’s ability to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary can be seen in one wonderful work after another among the pages of these selected poems.” —Edward Byrne, Valparaiso Poetry Review
“[David Bottoms] has written deceptively accessible poems that become more complex, more mysterious, with each reading… Bottoms’ poems do what the best poems have always done: They compel us to reread them. They linger in our minds. They alter our perception of the world.” —Ron Rash, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“David Bottoms has what only a few poets of any generation possess: An individual tone, what musicians call ‘his own sound.’ One cannot read him without being nerve-touched by his sardonic yet compassionate countryman’s voice, his hunter’s irony.” —James Dickey
“David Bottoms… [makes] extraordinary poems of small things… Armored Hearts… should bring Bottoms to his rightful place at the forefront of the baby-boom [sic] generation of poets.” —David Breeden, Small Press