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By Luke HankinsPublisher: Texas Review PressISBN: 978-1-68003-330-4Genre: Poetry Price: $16.95
Available from: Texas Review Press

Testament bears witness to traumas—cultural, personal, and spiritual—as well as moments of revelatory transport. While the catalyzing tragedies and dilemmas are never out of mind, these nuanced poems maintain faith in the act of speaking as a pathway through despair and toward transformation.

Luke Hankins is the author of two poetry collections, Radiant Obstacles and Weak Devotions, and a collection of essays, The Work of Creation. A Cry in the Snow & Other Poems, a volume of translations from the French of Stella Vinitchi Radulescu, was released by Seagull Books in 2019. Hankins is the founder and editor of Orison Books, a non-profit literary press focused on the life of the spirit from a broad and inclusive range of perspectives.


Testament shows Luke Hankins deftly at work in a ‘small glory’ of a chapbook! Whether addressing the troubled country that is America or bringing the reader into the prayer-like intimacy of resonant daily moments, Hankins’s poems here create spaces of presence and awareness that are refreshing and which reward rereading. Testament evokes its title by speaking the facts of the self in such ways that we can join Hankins in loving ‘the broken world better / that has broken me.

José Angel Araguz, author of Rotura

In this incantatory collection, Luke Hankins has both feet firmly planted in the fear and sorrow of the world while simultaneously reaching for transcendence. ‘Incense of breakage, / music of demise. // Here is my cathedral,’ he writes, insisting that the broken world be a haven for and reflection of the splintered self, holding up what he finds there as mirror in which to take our own measure. There is the fleeting sweetness of a father blowing on his son’s face to cool it, the struggle for moments of glory within a life bounded by strict internal limits, the perseverance of caring for a friend who struggles to care for themself. Yet there is also the thrilling defiance of a poet who sidles up to darkness and demands, ‘I hear you are a gateway. // Prove it.’ In Testament, Hankins teaches how we might make of our difficulties a portal to some better place.

Jessica Jacobs, author of Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going