NC Literary Hall of Fame



Driving Into the Dreamtime: New & Selected Poems by Donald Beagle

LP Press @ ZSR Library / Wake Forest University
$20.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-61846-088-2
February, 2020
Available from your local bookstore or

"The Rumi / Meteors poem-sequence by Donald Beagle is distinctively original, yet conveys a deeply-felt familiarity. These are poems in continual motion, orbiting a mysterious point where emotion, intuition, and perception converge."
—W. S. Merwin, in The Pool Magazine, California Institute of the Arts

"An achievement both impressive and hugely enjoyable. Donald Beagle has the rare ability to involve the reader with the poem, revealing that things of which we hadn't been aware deeply matter to us. This book will surely be among the outstanding titles of its year—if not, indeed, of its century."
—X. J. Kennedy, in Against the Grain

"I spent pleasant hours lost in Beagle's landscapes and melodies. 'On Performing Bach's Dorian Toccata' to me is an immediate extravagance, a breathtakingly complex, fugal journey into the minds of the composer, performer, and worlds of Bach and us alike. The triptych of musical poems from Hydrogen Jukebox to Bruckner to Bach is extraordinary, and I am lost in the reverie and embrace of the snow and paths of the Poets' Walk in the second, while the first captures...the cosmogonic and 'hypertrophic high-tech... psychological state' (in Ginz's words) of the work...There were, of course, other paths I took, swimming out with the poet into the night and death with the jellyfish, visiting Sullivan's Island and its sandpiper calligraphy, the story of the monks and the shroud as altarcloth....but for now, here on 'the frontier of winter' these songs leave me caught up in 'the evasive meter / of ecstatic poetry.'"
—Michael Joyce, Professor of Creative Writing & Media Studies, Vassar College; in Against the Grain

Driving Into the Dreamtime is a richly-textured assemblage of poems, a number of which have won prizes and awards, while others have appeared in various journals and anthologies. The book has four sections, which are I. Driving Into the Dreamtime (a thematic sequence of new lyric-narrative poems); II. What Must Arise (selected poems from Beagle's 2017 collection, with many newly revised); III. Rumi and the Year of Meteors (a 12-poem sequence of lyric poems); IV. Verses from the Multiverse (new, and mostly lengthier poems, drawing upon mythological and literary sources.

Donald Beagle is the author of seven books, including The Hopwood Poets Revisited: Eighteen Major Award Winners (LP Press, 2018); What Must Arise: Poems (LP Press, 2017); Poet of the Lost Cause (University of Tennessee Press, 2008); and The Information Commons Handbook (ALA / Neal-Schuman, 2006). He is the editor of Radcliffe Squires: Selected Poems 1950-1985 (LP Press, 2017). His awards include the Hopwood "Major Poetry" Award (1977), the John Brubaker Award (2011), two prize-winning poems in the annual Ekphrasis Contest (2013; 2017), and others.

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