No Charity in the Wilderness

Poems

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Pub Date 30 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 31 May 2024

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Description

No Charity in the Wilderness is a long journey into the new American West. From the southern border to the isolating two-lane highways in the desert, this collection is a prayer of reconciliation with so much that troubles us—those who live without resources or voices—and their possible future in this ever-changing landscape of desire.

Griffin has spent many decades in the high desert trying to find the way forward—when what he knows has been challenged and still there is breath on the horizon. One day an ancient Chinese poet comes to visit: "Snow deepens/ to quiet what I once believed, and Wang Wei stoops from the spine:/ this is how you become silence." Even if you doubt the old poet's counsel, like Griffin, you want to journey with him into the wilderness.
No Charity in the Wilderness is a long journey into the new American West. From the southern border to the isolating two-lane highways in the desert, this collection is a prayer of reconciliation...

Advance Praise

"No Charity in the Wilderness is an up-close, tender observation of the natural world and our place in it. The poems are compressed—like stones they tell the story of time. These are meditative verses that ask us to attend, to be present, and to open our hearts.”
—June Sylvester Saraceno, author of Feral, North Carolina, 1965


“Shaun Griffin travels the emotional wilderness of the American soul in his new collection, a wanderer open to both delight and suffering. The poet, echoing and alluding to, paying homage to, predecessors from Wang Wei to William Stafford, counts on language and landscape to deliver a confident identity, often to discover only mystery. As the title states, there may be No Charity in the Wilderness, but there is beauty, there is heart. This is a luminous work.” —Scott Slovic, coeditor of Nature and Literary Studies 


“Shaun Griffin’s world teems with desert and mountain, with sugar pine and finch, with fern and moss and sage. His world seethes with camps for refugees and internees, with Covid and caregivers, with convicts and wardens. Somewhere, everywhere in that beautiful yet overwhelmingly fraught world, “a person / lies waiting to be claimed.” And—praise be—Griffin’s poems rise in powerful response to that urgency. With lyric intensity and rich imagery, this poet who has taken “a vow to undo silence” creates a voice for those made voiceless. His deep compassion gives us a great gift: Griffin offers us an invitation to realize anew “how little we are without others.” —Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita 


“Shaun Griffin has dedicated his life to writing and community activism. No Charity in the Wilderness continues to expand upon his vision integrated into activism and human rights, sharing with his readers his faith in the power of words to build and transform community. From his resonant meditations on nature and our place in the universe to his searing witness to the harsh treatment of immigrants at our borders and of the unquiet souls abused by the prison system, Griffin crafts these articulate, deeply moving, lyrical poems. No Charity in the Wilderness should loft Griffin’s literary reputation into company with William Stafford, Gary Snyder and Annie Dillard, as he is clearly one of the most powerful and spiritual voices of the new American West and beyond. These new poems are a conscience for our world.” ― Douglas Unger, author of Leaving the Land and Voices from Silence

"No Charity in the Wilderness is an up-close, tender observation of the natural world and our place in it. The poems are compressed—like stones they tell the story of time. These are meditative...

Marketing Plan

• Understanding the West

• The US/Mexican border crisis

• Appreciation of the Great Basin and what it takes to live in this isolated land

• The emptiness and necessity of living at the edge of a vast inland high desert


• Understanding the West

• The US/Mexican border crisis

• Appreciation of the Great Basin and what it takes to live in this isolated land

• The emptiness and necessity of living at the edge of a...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781647791483
PRICE $18.95 (USD)
PAGES 70

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Featured Reviews

I've been reading a lot of poetry lately, and looking at the world and the people in it through Griffin's lens felt like taking a deep breath after a stressful day. It felt like a gift, a moment of quiet within which to reflect.

Griffin is obviously a talented and experienced poet, but it's the compassion that shines through for me-- the tenderness with which he observes and describes people and places. His descriptions of friends, family, and coworkers are particularly evocative. This collection did what my favorite poems do-- it filled me with nostalgia, or maybe it's more apt to call it farsickness?

I started to list out my favorite poems from this collection, and realized the list was just too long. Just do yourself a favor and read it; then you can pick out your own favorites.

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