Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys by D. A. Powell
Poems

88%

5 Critic Reviews

...dark but deeply, deeply beautiful. Powell has written some of hell's music, and it's among the best you'll hear.
-NPR

Synopsis

*Winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry*

I have this rearrangement to make:
symbolic death, my backward glance.
The way the past is a kind of future
leaning against the sporty hood.
—from "Bugcatching at Twilight"
In Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys - D. A. Powell's fifth book of poetry - the rollicking line he has made his signature becomes the taut, more discursive means to describing beauty, singing a dirge, directing an ironic smile, or questioning who in any given setting is the instructor and who is the pupil. This is a book that explores the darker side of divisions and developments, which shows how the interstitial spaces of boonies, backstage, bathhouse, or bar are locations of desire. With Powell's witty banter, emotional resolve, and powerful lyricism, this collection demonstrates his exhilarating range.

 

About D. A. Powell

See more books from this Author
D. A. Powell is the author of five collections of poetry, including Chronic, winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. He lives in San Francisco.
 
Published November 18, 2014 by Graywolf Press. 121 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys
All: 5 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 0

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Nov 28 2011

Powell has now turned the corner from promising new poet into established power. This fifth collection condenses his obsessions into poems clearer and more compact than ever, some scathing and others comedic, some based on life stories and others built on puns.

Read Full Review of Useless Landscape, or A Guide... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NPR

Excellent
Reviewed by Craig Morgan Teicher on Feb 16 2012

...dark but deeply, deeply beautiful. Powell has written some of hell's music, and it's among the best you'll hear.

Read Full Review of Useless Landscape, or A Guide... | See more reviews from NPR

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by John Freeman on Apr 14 2012

There are poems in this collection reminiscent of Steinbeck's squint-eyed documentary fiction, and others of Lana Turner. Combining these impulses, D.A. Powell has given a whole new sound to the Central Valley. In fact, it's hard to imagine it now without him.

Read Full Review of Useless Landscape, or A Guide... | See more reviews from Star Tribune

San Francisco Chronicle

Good
Reviewed by Sara Marcus on Feb 26 2012

Powell is a renowned formalist; though he does not hew rigidly to rhyme or metrical constraints, there's a chiseled architectonics to his verse. These poems double back on one another, fugually, repeated words acting as secret passageways running from page to page.

Read Full Review of Useless Landscape, or A Guide...

Lambda Literary

Good
Reviewed by Jaime Shearn Coan on Feb 23 2012

Invoking the language of infestation common to agricultural centers, Powell, in poems like “Quaratine” and “Bugcatching at Twilight,” offers new ways of talking about loss and anxiety due to AIDS.

Read Full Review of Useless Landscape, or A Guide...

Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

Felicia Marie Dougherty

Felicia Marie Dougherty 19 Nov 2014

Added the book to custom list 'Interesting'

×