"An illuminating literary cartography with many fascinating ports of call."--Kirkus Reviews
"Mason expertly weaves the stories of great writers and places both ancient and new together into an imaginative literary odyssey."--Publishers Weekly
"How are voices like places? They move through us as we move through them."
Celebrated poet David Mason explores surprising connections in geography and time, considering writers who traveled, who emigrated or were exiled, and who often shaped the literature of their homelands. He writes of seasoned travelers (Patrick Leigh Fermor, Bruce Chatwin, Joseph Conrad, Herodotus himself), and writers as far flung as Omar Khayyam, Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, James Joyce, and Les Murray. In the end, he turns to his own native region, the American West, with Wallace Stegner, Edward Abbey, Robinson Jeffers, Belle Turnbull, and Thomas McGrath.
These essays are about familiarity and estrangement, the pleasure and knowledge readers can gain by engaging with writers' lives, their travels, their trials, and the homes they make for themselves.
In The Sound acclaimed poet David Mason collects his best shorter work of the past forty years, including lyrics like "Song of the Powers" and darkly brilliant narratives "The Collector's Tale" and "The Country I Remember," which Anthony Hecht called "a welcome addition to the best that is now being written by American poets." A poet of love and history and nature, Mason forges a language that can reconnect us to the world.
David Mason is the author of numerous books of poetry, most recently Sea Salt and Davey McGravy; a memoir, News from the Village; and the verse novel Ludlow. His poetry, prose, and translations have appeared in such periodicals as The New Yorker, Harper's, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Times Literary Supplement. A former Fulbright fellow to Greece, he lives in Colorado and Oregon and teaches at Colorado College. He was poet laureate of Colorado from 2010 to 2014.