Vagrant Grace

David Bottoms

David Bottoms has a breathtaking ability to capture human tenderness, vulnerability, and cruelty in the brief turn of a line. Grounded in the contemporary South, his poems often witness people in their moments of failure, as their fantasies and families collapse around them, as they weep graveside, as they recognize their own fading image in the bathroom mirror.

ISBN: 9781556591297

Format: Paperback

About the Author

David Bottoms’s first book, Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump, was chosen by Robert Penn Warren as winner of the 1979 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets. His poems have appeared widely in magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Poetry, and The Paris Review, as well as in sixty anthologies and textbooks. He is the author of eight other books of poetry, two novels, and a book of essays and interviews. His most …

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“David Bottoms has a remarkable ability to capture human tenderness with a phrase, human vulnerability with a line, human cruelty in the brevity of a few words.” —Wisconsin Bookwatch

“Bottoms’s 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.” —Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“What father doesn’t seek to build a world where his daughter will be safe? In his sixth collection, Bottoms records this act of creation. He succeeds in grand style, in part because he focuses on the world beyond his family.” —Library Journal

Vagrant Grace is piled high with artistic riches… Bottoms’ [sic] clean lines and controlled cadences, combined with his flair for the succinct visual image, make every page a joy to look at… One takes from these poems a sense of beauty, of melancholy, of hard-earned wisdom. Vagrant Grace says there is more to the world than is told us in the headlines, more in our pockets than money.” —Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Vagrant Grace… demonstrates the power poetry can have in revealing human nature.” —Champion

“David Bottoms has a remarkable ability to capture human tenderness with a phrase, human vulnerability with a line, human cruelty in the brevity of a few words. His poetry is founded in the contemporary south and blurs the division between easily identified good and readily discerned evil. These are poems of exquisitely [sic] and elegant humanity framed in a world that is neither.” —Midwest Book Review

“Mystery is Bottoms’ [sic] doorway to grace, family his locus.” —Poetry

“David Bottoms’s ability to strike the resonance between the concrete effects of everyday life and the spiritual affects with which they are endowed has always been one of the greatest qualities of his work. In his sixth book of poetry, Vagrant Grace, Bottoms reaffirms yet again this power to deftly weave not only the pedestrian and sublime, but the past and present.” —Southern Scribe

“Bottoms is an exquisite storyteller, his undulating lines given to vivid detail and palpable drama… Bottoms makes astounding leaps of both faith and doubt, and does so with insight, honesty, and flashes of anger.” —Southern Review

“The poems of Vagrant Grace are written with the achieved wisdom and maturity of middle age… [These poems] exhibit a renewal of spirit and are easily among his best.” —Valparaiso Poetry Review