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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
The Radium Watch Dial Painters  
  D.S. Butterworth

ISBN 978-0-9762114-9-5     $16.95  /  $18.95 (Canada)     6 x 9       

96 pp      
PUB DATE: Spring 2008       Poetry


The Radium Watch Dial Painters is a book of sheer power and range, poems that burn in brilliant flashes and with searing luminescence. There are great stories in here, flurries of fresh images and graceful turns of music and wit. Above all, you find Dan Butterworth’s pitch-perfect gift for language, his acrobatic intelligence, his fierce decency. I loved this book.

—Jess Walter, author of The Zero, Citizen Vince and Beautiful Ruins

Whether meditating on the grim facts surrounding the title poem (those women dabbing radioactive brushes on tongues to sharpen bristles so that rapidly passing hours glow in the dark), or considering the fossil and figurative fueling of our rage to get down the road toward the “dying of our lives,” or finding solace in familial havens, those temporary respites from “the perfect velocity / that illuminates the world,” these poems invite us to join them in a quest for language that will slow down our fervent “loving the world that is also our undoing.” Simply, D.S. Butterworth gives us poetry that is both of our historical moment and sharply attentive to the eternal moment, a combination that makes this book powerful and compelling.

—Tod Marshall, author of Range of the Possible and Dare Say

The poems in The Radium Watch Dial Painters are distilled from the actual and the dreamed with such purity of language—one reads and encounters with gratitude the experience of personal place hauled from the quotidian and made wholly lyrical. The poet’s stance, so often hushed with gratitude and awe as he encounter mystery—animal nest, smoke, moon—in also limed with irony and pain as he encounters history, day by day, meeting the news folded into pages, the sound-bites and voices weighed like the calculations of an incoming hurricane’s speed and direction. Yet, finally, the last word in this collection is “love.” The commonplace, the immaculate, the lost and recovered—the “eternal variables”—travel and settle in all their complexity into the page Butterworth folds into a paper airplane and sails into a cathedral. It flies.

—Laurie Lamon

About the Author

D.S. Butterworth

D.S. Butterworth grew up in Seattle and went to college at Western Washington University in Bellingham. He earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in English literature at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He taught as a lecturer at Chapel Hill and spent four years teaching at Morehead State University in eastern Kentucky. He currently teaches literature and creative writing at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. Algonquin Books published his creative non-fiction book, Waiting for Rain: A Farmer’s Story.


Finalist For the 2009 Washington State Book Award for Poetry