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A Plan in Case of Morning Paperback – 29 September 2020


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Product details

  • Paperback: 78 pages
  • Publisher: Vine Leaves Press (29 September 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1925965406
  • ISBN-13: 978-1925965407
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Boxed-product Weight: 127 g
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Review

"Like Bukowski and other great American poets who lived their words, Phill Provance mines his soul to bring light to the dark places of life ... and tell a tough story with a hint of humor and horror." ~John McCaffrey, The Good Men Project

"Ingenious ... I feel like I’m looking into a diorama in a shoebox, a scene and a world dreamily composed within the cleanly-wrought borders of the speaker’s imagination ... a little myth with a Midwestern twang." - Diane Seuss, 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist

"The lure of the archaic is a notional time travel in which supposed Denton Morrises may enjoy games of fancy dress and do the voices in decades more forgiving to chiming rhymes. Its comedy arrives in the form of a seriousness of technical achievement belied by a sometime silliness of content. How does one take such poems? I take them as utopian, as belonging, almost politically, to a never-appearing age of poetry that is as permissive as it is beholden to the past. In this unusual poetry of strangely familiar sounds, one discovers a space for rarely seen lyric promises as oddly compacted as they are true." ~Chris Hosea, 2013 Walt Whitman Award Winner

"I was glad to be introduced to Phill Provance's poetry, which sets itself apart from ordinary competence through qualities of acute intelligence and technical skill. He knows that a poem is a lens on experience and that the best way to represent the multifaceted thing we call reality is to apply to it as many and diverse lenses as you can manage. Here is a book that deserves a cordial welcome." ~Alfred Corn, 1982 Levinson Prize winner, Academy of American Poets, NEA and Guggenheim Fellow

"It would be tempting to compartmentalize A Plan in Case of Morning in terms of its three sections, 'Going Out,' 'Going Under,' and 'Coming In,' but this collection of poems is equally charged throughout, just as dynamic in its last poem as in its first, and rich with form, from the prose poems 'How It Goes' and 'The Stenographers Union' to 'Elegy for My College Roommate,' with its carefully crafted measures of white space. A Plan in Case of Morning is a coming-of-middle-age chronicle of sorts, and it is against this backdrop that we find lines such as those in 'Gen Y Love Poem': 'which is to say/I am still in it/for myself/to keep you there/is still the mystery/of whether I will/stay.' Moreover, Provance visits with the interior in a way as dynamic as it is delicious and powerful, as in 'My Old Man,' where we find the lines 'In three months I’ll come home to find him/planted on his couch, the upholstery full/of burn holes, him sucking on tin foil/ “getting the good cocaine out,” the desk/clutter in some corner,' while poems like 'Now' leave a delicious bruise, with the lines 'And it occurs I've wasted/my best words on one/who didn’t deserve/a pronoun.' Provance writes, in 'A New Kind of Vegan,' 'I want to watch you eat my words. Sprinkle/some salt on them. Serve them/on a bed of lettuce skins.' Any reader of A Plan in Case of Morning will be happy to devour." ~Jacinda Townsend, winner of the 2015 James Fenimore Cooper and Janet Heidinger Kafka prizes

About the Author

Phill Provance was born in an Appalachian valley town of 5,000 people to a Kirby salesman and a welfare caseworker who divorced when he was four. Subsequently spending his early years in a trailer on his grandparents' farm, he witnessed the same alcoholism, drug abuse, mental illness, domestic violence, and poverty that figure into most stereotypes of Appalachia. Yet, at the same time, he also experienced the genuine devotion and kindness of people whose only hope, often, is sticking together. From his father, a recovering alcoholic, he learned humility, patience in the face of his own faults, and unconditional love; from his mother-now a PhD. but once a single mom raising him and his brother on a part-time state employee's salary-he learned the sort of drive that saw him master three languages and not only attend Bethany College and Oxford University as an undergraduate but also go on to complete his MFA in Poetry and Fiction at WV Wesleyan College. Since leaving home at eighteen, he's published comics, nonfiction, journalism, and poetry in numerous newspapers, journals, and magazines throughout the English-speaking world. A Plan in Case of Morning is his third book and his first full-length collection of poetry. His other works include the nonfiction popular history A Brief History of Woodbridge, New Jersey (The History Press 2019) and the poetry chapbook The Day the Sun Rolled Out of the Sky (Cy Gist Press 2010). His second full-length work of nonfiction, Postcards of McHenry County, Illinois, is forthcoming in 2021. Visit the author: www.phillprovance.com

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