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Hermits in Our Own Flesh: The Epistles of an Anonymous Monk

$5.00

Written by George Looney
Soft Cover 104 pages, 5" x 8"
ISBN 978-1-940992-55-6

Print edition available on these sites:



The world of George Looney’s poetry seems to hover just above ours. It’s a world tossed by the winds of memory, of regret, of awareness that “beauty is still possible,” as one of these rich and moving poems says. It’s an intense world as well—we can’t stay in it for very long, but when we come back to our own lives, we remember where we have been, and we still hear the music.
—David Kirby, author of Get Up, Please, A Wilderness of Monkeys, Talking About Movies With Jesus, The Temple Gate Called Beautiful, and many other books

Sisters, brothers, these poems are love letters, and to read them is to participate in a correspondence that seeks to celebrate, question, decry, mourn, accept, protest, and pledge allegiance to all that which makes our world our world. The anonymous monk’s wisdom is sound, his ear is attuned, and his heart is full.
—Tom Noyes, author of Come by Here, Spooky Action at a Distance, and Behold Faith

“To Generalize is to be an Idiot,” Blake told us.  He desired the particular.  The unassailable and particular mystery of the mortal mind is the subject of Hermits in Our Own Flesh.  The monk within, anonymous and alone, sees language as seduction, a way of making the world flesh.  His voice murmurs from a monastery of the imagination.  Lean forward.  Attend.  There are words to hear. 
—Douglas Smith, author of Judgments

Hermits in Our Own Flesh promises glimpses of what could be a permanent happiness. The speaker in these poems creates a world where confession leaves the world weeping and the carnival tents are always being taken down and Rilke’s violin is heard in the abstractions. George Looney has heard the instructions and followed each note to its fullest.
—Tracie Morell, author of Matilda’s Battle Waltz

George Looney is a modern Rilke and a mystic straight out of a Van Morrison song who can make suns out of “slivers of night” and can turn a trip to the gas station into a gallery of Hopper paintings. Looney will hold a chipped tooth in his palm and convince you it’s “a tiny porcelain heart” and then take you out for stouts on New Year’s Eve to sing a million different versions of “Auld Lang Syne” like it was the last night on earth. He teaches how to be a poet in the truest sense of the word, and will convince you again that your heart is actually yours.
—Corey Zeller, author of You and Other Pieces and Man Vs. Sky  

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About the Author

George Looney’s books include Meditations Before the Windows Fail (Lost Horse Press, 2015), Structures the Wind Sings Through (a book-length poem from Full/Crescent Press, 2014), Monks Beginning to Waltz (Truman State University Press, 2012), A Short Bestiary of Love and Madness (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2011), Open Between Us (Turning Point, 2010), The Precarious Rhetoric of Angels (White Pine Press, 2005), Attendant Ghosts (Cleveland State University Press, 2000), Animals Housed in the Pleasure of Flesh (Bluestem Press, 1995), and the novella Hymn of Ash (Elixir Press, 2008).  His poetry has earned an NEA Fellowship, as well as two Ohio Arts Council Individual Artists Grants and one Individual Artist grant from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, and won awards from such literary journals as The Missouri Review, New Letters, The Literary Review, and Zone 3. He founded the BFA in Creative Writing Program at Penn State Erie and serves as editor-in-chief of the international literary journal Lake Effect, translation editor of Mid-American Review, and he is the co-founder of the Chautauqua Writers’ Festival.

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