The Skeleton of the Crow: New & Selected Poems 1980–2008

Seido Ray Ronci

“This book contains over thirty years of work. Without ever intending it, I wrote a spiritual autobiography in poetry. I once was a young poet who practiced Zen; over the years I became a formally ordained Zen monk who practices poetry. This book follows that transition in terms of both content and form… [The very early poems] are the poems of a young man under the influence of poetry. But as the years pass, the influences shift. The poems become more sparse, less poetic, more direct. The Zen practice becomes more apparent. There is a kind of implicit narrative to the book that I never intended. It’s the story of a man seeking a path and then finding one. That doesn’t mean the journey is over, it just means that the path has been found and here we go!” —Seido Ray Ronci

ISBN: 9781931337434

Format: Paperback

About the Author

Seido Ray Ronci is a Rinzai Zen monk and the caretaker of Hokoku-An Zendo in Columbia, Missouri. His book, The Skeleton of the Crow: New & Selected Poems won the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Poetry in 2009. Ronci teaches literature, literary theory, and critical theory in the English Department at the University of Missouri.

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The Skeleton of the Crow records a journey; one man’s spirit lived in and through poetry. Ronci’s selected should be read first poem to last. Do so and you will have the pleasure of seeing this poet ripen into maturity. In Ronci’s poetry this process has been one of shedding the impulse to tell stories while skillfully paring his poems so that he comes to say in the fewest words what is his to say. Like the crow he is a communicator. Ronci’s poems exhilarate because they risk statements embracing the contradictions we are in bare-bones language, melodic and true.” —William Corbett