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Welcome back, Jason Tandon!

This month we are celebrating the titles that we’ve acquired over the past twelve months. These manuscripts came to us through our open reading periods. Today we bring you Jason Tandon, whose poetry collection This Far North will be published next March. This will be Jason’s fourth book with Black Lawrence Press.

Have a manuscript you think we’d like? During our June Open Reading Period we are looking for poetry (chapbooks and full-length collections), short fiction (again, both chapbooks and full-length collections), novels, novellas, nonfiction (CNF, biography, cultural studies), anthology proposals, and translations from German. 

 

 

The Author

Born in Hartford, CT in 1975, Jason Tandon is the author of five books of poetry, including This Far North, The Actual WorldQuality of Life, and Give over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt, winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award from Black Lawrence Press. His poems have appeared in PloughsharesPrairie SchoonerThe Southern Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Barrow Street, among others. He earned his B.A. and M.A. from Middlebury College, and his M.F.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Since 2008, he has taught in the Arts & Sciences Writing Program at Boston University.

 

On Writing This Far North

The first poems in This Far North were written in early 2017, while I was still revising The Actual World (BLP, 2019). After writing the title poem in the summer of 2018, and then finding the epigraph from Robert Bly’s poem “What Did We See Today?,” I knew I had a book going. I worked on it steadily for four and a half years, and submitted the manuscript to Black Lawrence Press in July 2021.

As my life and my family’s lives have gotten busier, I find even less time to write than before, which explains at least in part the brevity of these poems. I have, though, for a long time been attracted to shorter forms, especially the lyric. I like understatement, and elements of what might be called “anti-poetry,” particularly in how a poem ends. When writing, I am not concerned with saying or meaning anything in particular, though I am concerned with particulars.

 

Selections from This Far North

 

Man Paddling Canoe with Dog


The sky so white
there is no sky.
The water,
a tarnished plate of silver.

The dog sits dutifully.
No, sits like a king
who says nothing,
who looks around
unmoved,

his golden robe
shedding.

originally appeared in Ploughshares

 

 

 

After a Week of News


My son turns nine
and there’s bowling with bumpers,

dumplings and moo-shu
at Mandarin Cuisine,

a homemade cake
with buttercream frosting

so rich, so sweet
we push back our plates

as if heaped with Brussels sprouts and broccoli.

 

originally appeared in North American Review

 

 

 

I Came Here

          after Du Fu

I came here to write a poem
and all I can do is look
at the beam of a solstice moon
lying across the lake.
I came here to write a poem.
All I can do
is listen

to the warped booms of water
under its own
frozen weight.


originally appeared in Water~Stone Review