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CHARLES O'HAY is the recipient of a 1995 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship in poetry.
His poems have appeared in over 100 literary publications including Gargoyle, South Carolina Review, Brooklyn Review, West Branch, Mudfish, and New York Quarterly.
A portion of all profits will be donated to Project H.O.M.E. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The author lives with his wife and daughter in eastern Pennsylvania. This is his first full-length collection of poems.
on Aug. 15, 2011 :
“The trouble,” O’Hay begins in a poem by the same title:
-- is that most poets write
as if painting tiny tin soldiers
while a symphony plays.
I prefer one who writes
as if amid a mortar attack:
landing squarely on his lap.
Here ticks the heart as well as mind of O’Hay’s poetics. Certainly, he can deliver the breathtaking lyricism and imagery of a whole row of MFA students daubing on “the right words in the right order,” but he also offers something to the not-hooked-on-poetry set who just want the good old-fashioned wallop of a great story told with raspy wit and impeccable timing.
Far From Luck is a marvelous collection that elucidates with wholehearted compassion the hardscrabble lives of marginalized people and slowly eroding glory of America’s natural and urban landscapes. Complementing his themes of transience and hard-earned survival are photographs -- taken by O’Hay himself -- of Philly’s homeless and vagabond community .
Whether through the lens of language or camera, O’Hay stills the world, if only for a moment, enabling us to commit to heart the disarming beauty and depth of even the smallest scraps of the ordinary. And to underscore the walk behind the poetic talk, 20% of profits go to Project H.O.M.E., a non-profit organization providing housing and services for Philadelphia’s homeless population.
(reviewed 14 days after purchase)