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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 Way Summer Ends  
  Thomas Mitchell

ISBN 978-0-9968584-3-4     $18.00  /  $21.00 (Canada)     5.5 x 8.5       

80 pp      
PUB DATE: SEPT 2016       Poetry


978-0-9968584-3-4Thomas Mitchell’s first collection of poems is a work which celebrates the quotidian, including tools which shape it, but also strike back, bite, cut, bring mystery, repair the barn roof, but allow moonlight on hay in the loft recalling the father who rebuilt it to “do something in the fall.” To paraphrase Hayden Carruth, it’s not necessary to be young—here’s a poet over sixty whose first book is long lived, built by hands “never clean.” Its “radiant sprinkler / runs on in the dark.”

 —Ralph Burns


I admire these poems more every time I read them. Subtle, intuitive, kind—these poems live in the implicit, in hints and not-quite-kept secrets. So many of the poems happen in dim light when attention is rewarded, when beauty must be disentangled from shadow—“I know if I look away / everything will disappear”—the poet’s vision, precise but flickery, holds things in being—the signs, the patterns for which the poet is now responsible and only he can report, which Mitchell does in a heightened lyrical clarity.

 —Dennis Schmitz

About the Author

Thomas Mitchell

Thomas Mitchell studied writing at California State University, Sacramento where he received his MA in English, and worked with the poet, Dennis Schmitz. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana, studying with Richard Hugo, Madeline DeFrees, and William Kittredge. His poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including The New England Review, New Letters, Quarterly West, The New Orleans Review, California Quarterly, and Where We Are: The Montana Poet’s Anthology. He taught middle school in Southern Oregon for many years. He lives there still with his wife, Linda.



The Affair

When the liquor fails at two a.m.,
he polishes his drink, draws
some smoke, and leaves the bar
feeling expensive. If the moon rakes
through leaves curling by the roadside,
if the small light dances on the ignition key,
he doesn’t notice. Three minutes down
Lark Boulevard, his blue Desoto pulls
to the curb. An evergreen gives birth
to a dark tree. His mind drifts
to a small stone hut where birds fly
in and out the shuttered windows.

—Thomas Mitchell