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In Memory of a Banyan Tree: Poems of the Outside World: 1985 to 2022
Three Wooden Trunks
The Country Where Everyone’s Name Is Fear: Selected Poems
Just Waking, Second Edition  
  Christopher Howell

ISBN 978-0-9717265-1-2     $16.95  /  $18.95 (Canada)     6" x 8"       

88 pp      


Christopher Howell’s poems rely on a redeeming darkness to bring themselves into the world. Through meditative, short lyrics, and an eerily quiet approach, Howell redefines the place of the self in a poem. These deceptively triumphant views of discovery and survival arrive in a place that welcomes us as both witnesses and participants.

The Bloomsbury Review


It is a great pleasure, once again, to listen to the particular play of Christopher Howell’s mind, his elegant rhythms and graceful rhetoric; and, beside all that craftsmanship and intelligence, how good to encounter that lovely eye for flesh, for the succulent things of this world.

—Patricia Goedicke


Once I began reading Just Waking, I had to read it straight through, late into the night. I had a growing need to experience the way these poems and their many voices move into the world of things and people and ghosts and ideas, with this speculative intelligence, this tender and sometimes comic discourse that by so loving a sense of what is beautiful in being alive always achieves the condition of music. I just didn’t want the book to end.

—Bill Tremblay

About the Author

Christopher Howell

Christopher Howell's seven collections of poems include the recent Memory and Heaven from Eastern Washington University Press. He has received fellowships from the Oregon Arts Commission, the Massachusetts Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems have appeared in such journals as Antioch Review, Colorado Review, Field, Harper's, Iowa Review, North American Review, Poetry Northwest, and Gettysburg Review, and have twice been awarded the Pushcart Prize. He has taught at Colorado State University, Willamette University, Whitman College, Emporia State University, and Oregon State University, and teaches now in the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing at Eastern Washington University where he edits the semi-annual journal Willow Springs. Since 1975 he has been director and principal literary editor for Lynx House Press.


Finalist for the 2004 Washington Book Award

Finalist for the ForeWord magazine 2004 Poetry Book of the Year Award



Love's Fugitive on the Run

Head low, collar reaching for clouds
And legs a slinking blur
I negotiate the thirteen blocks
Of Heep, Wyoming.

On the far edge, where sagebrush starts again
without apology
to be the feel and color of the earth, I turn
neither God nor I has blessed this place; and yet
bicycles loll against a fence
and five women by the P.O. laughed so long and big
I hear them still
and a banner crudely lettered vaults the street
to say, "Old Home Days in Heep, June 9 to June 15th;
say Howdy, Friend!"

So, Howdy Heep, though I am torn
and traipsing out among the bluish hills
to keep off fierce pursuit. I'd stay
if my own heart would not arrest me
for crimes of ill-designed loyalty and love.
I would stay if you belived I ought to be
a citizen
who wakes to simple foolish hours
of happiness in brightly dusty streets,
who turns to touch someone too luminous to touch
and does not die or run
and run, like life
making its getaway.



I am in the forest,
on the plain, or the great green
blue sea from which all was
brought forth. Surely
I am a power unsolved
by the tight mortal image
winding down to feces and mere
demonstrations of my charm.
Indeed, my eyes burn
with this belief and I kick
up my heels like a dancing horse
or a lively pot of glue.