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Otherwise Elsewhere

David Rivard
You pay as you go. Mornings
at this point are either like spread sails or (more likely)
spread-sheets—they fill fast. Mornings are fortunes,
but as suspect as a wristwatch running in reverse.

—from “Vigorish”

David Rivard’s new collection describes the many powers—psychological and historical—that flow through people’s lives in acts of faith, greed, pleasure, celebrity, gossip, and consolation. A teenage boy looking at a weathered gravestone wonders how many times he’ll sign his name in his life; the forest on the move in Macbeth intersects with a blind man cured by Christ; a man coming out of a terrible dream of being lost is saved by touching his wife’s hair. “For those of us who need it,” one poem asserts, “instruction is everywhere.”

Rivard’s poetry is full of unsettling humor and the careening movement of memory and imagination.

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The expansive, energetic new poetry book by David Rivard, author of Sugartown and Wise Poison

About the Author

David  Rivard
Credit: Matt Valentine
David Rivard is the author of six poetry collections, including Standoff, Otherwise Elsewhere, Sugartown, and Wise Poison, winner of the James Laughlin Award. He recently received the O. B. Hardison Poetry Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and teaches creative writing at the University of New Hampshire.
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  • “With a unique voice and plenty of powerful messages, Otherwise Elsewhere is a fine pick for poetry collections.”—Midwest Book Review
  • “David Rivard is a kind of a speed demon; his poems often move with an awesome velocity. . . . His writing speaks of a mind at home in its own depths yet able to feather out around the curve of the earch, a mind able to sift all that and find in it the likenesses and paradox, the sudden combustions of poetry.”—Poetry Flash
  • [Rivard] turns his awareness of, indebtedness to, and interest in otherwise and elsewhere into satisfying and acutely insightful verse. . . . Beyond every scene described, beyond every poem, is the compassion for what is elsewhere and otherwise, what we are not, but can imagine; what we do not see, but may remember, predict, or create; what Rivard can bring to life through his poems.”—Newpages
  • “Rivard paints a rather grim picture with Otherwise Elsewhere, but it is one in which the people shine briefly and brightly and show us a universal truth: that there can still be happiness in the midst of vast suffering.”—The Big Muddy
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