Dancing The Haw features fifty new poems from poet and author Tyler Johnson. This collection navigates a river of music and dance that changes, heals, and binds us together. But the book takes many side trips along the way, including conversations with chickens, reflections on zombies, and a garden fatwa. It explores relationships emerging and those fading away. Through it all runs the Haw River in North Carolina.
from the author:
“These poems grew out of my experiences along the Haw River near Chicken Bridge. But as rivers will, this one stretched me back in time to other rivers of my youth. Rivers are deep and dangerous things, but people are saved in them. This one saved me.”
What People Are Saying:
“Dancing the Haw is an elegant collection, with contemplative and joyful poems, attention to tradition, love of language, and –always– music. These poems dig at the roots, look up to find nests in the high branches, and follow the path of the river in search of the invisible threads that bind us to our world. ‘Some measure by which we can true ourselves up,’ Tyler Johnson calls it. The attentive presence of these poems does just that.”
– Rachel Richardson, Copperhead
“Keen observation and charming music, intelligence and humor—these are the currents running through Tyler Johnson’s Dancing the Haw. “Lancaster” closes with “All this looking, / keeping an eye out / and down,” and those lines become a metaphor for Johnson’s attentive work as a poet. His wit is overt at times, as in the Council of Poetry series, and sometimes crops up more subtly, in a juxtaposition of lines (“Something about digging at roots gives me confidence. // From the dogwood the chickadee screeches its tiny scorn.”) or a juxtaposition of poems (“Inevitability” followed by “A Contract with Chickens”), in this beautiful, carefully crafted collection of poems.”
– Celisa Steele, How Language is Lost