Communion: Poems 1976–1998

Primus St. John

St. John is a master of both the brief lyric poem and longer narrative sequences, such as his book-length poem, “Dreamer,” which explores the Middle Passage and the heritage of slavery. Communion gathers poems from three out-of-print volumes with new poems. Raised by West Indian grandparents who instilled in him a deep sense of family and social history, St. John was a waiter, laborer, gambler, and civil servant before settling into teaching at Portland State University. He makes these experiences vividly alive in poems which are by turns fierce and gentle, and always compelling.

ISBN: 9781556591259

Format: Paperback

About the Author

Primus St. John makes his home in Oregon. He is the author of four collections of poetry and the co-editor of the anthologies Zero Makes Me Hungry and From Here We Speak. He has received an Oregon Book Award for Poetry and a Western States Book Award for Poetry.

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“St. John’s idiosyncratic and evocative collection moves with a Stein-like sense of aphorism… [he] seems to search for a productive relationship between his art and politics, and the results are often powerful.” —Publishers Weekly

“It’s that combination of feeling, human solidity, bodyness with mystery, an otherworldly eye, that attracts me to Primus St. John’s work.” —Poetry Flash