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Terra Firma
Thomas Centolella
$10.00 paperback
978-1-55659-030-6
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Terra Firma
Thomas Centolella

Selected by Denise Levertov for the National Poetry Series, and winner of the 1991 American Book Award and the Bay Area Book Reviewers' Award, Centolella establishes a mature vision, writing—in a deceptively conversational voice—narratives and meditations that seek a communal condition, poems spoken intimately, as though confided in a friend. Balanced between the stoical and the sentimental, Centolella visits a "permanent" earth which remains forever temporal in human experience, searching for the sacramental, redemptive experience which binds apparent opposites.

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Poems available from this book:
At the Dolphin Tank
Lines of Force
The Pacific
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Selected by Denise Levertov for the National Poetry Series
Winner of the 1991 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation
Recipient of the 1990 Bay Area Book Reviewers Award
Nominated as a 1990 Notable Book by the American Library Association

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For Terra Firma, Thomas Centolella

"Selected by Denise Levertov for the National Poetry Series, this generally strong first collection, often set in the San Francisco Bay Area or in the wilderness, showcases Centolella's gift for finding wonder in the quotidian, for recovering 'the taken-for-granted.'"—Publishers Weekly

"Thomas Centolella's poems are sensuous, humorous, passionate and compassionate. They convey a sharp sense of what it is to be very much alive in (and sometimes out of) an American city... To 'recover the taken-for-granted' is the task [Centolella] sets himself—a task perennially necessary, but perhaps never more so than it is today."—Denise Levertov

"... a collection of narratives and meditations, conversational in tone, but explosive in impact. Central to the book's effectiveness is the poet's unique voice... A rich panorama of urban existence."—Booklist

"Deceptively simple and wonderfully personal, this collection is startlingly powerful."—Bookpaper

"[Centolella's] poetic voice possesses an ironic optimism that demonstrates how firmly moored the poet is in the world of the living... "—The New Mexican

"[Terra Firma] is a skillful, open-hearted, brave first book."—Poetry Flash

"[Centolella's] words are heartfelt and honest, written in an intimate voice."—San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Thomas Centolella is a poet of pieces. One can imagine him strolling through the streets of San Francisco... collecting visions of urban life... with one eye cast toward sentiment and the other toward a naturalist's gift of observation."—Santa Fe Reporter

"Centolella's gift is precisely this: simply, conversationally, to find in the bitter moments of urban sorrow some common, unexpected core of sweet life."—Lawrence DiStasi

"Centolella's poetry is grounded, it evolves from the poet's roots and in turn takes root... This slim, beautiful volume by Copper Canyon Press is composed of... sudden illuminations piercing through the reality of everyday life... Centolella's poetry expresses a deep longing for lost things, for lost people. It has a haunting quality... [Terra Firma] is one of the best poetry books that have (sic) come out in a decade."—Voices in Italian Americana

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