Paperback / softback
December 1, 2014
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1 Pounds (US)
$18.95 USD, £14.99 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Charming Gardeners

The formally nuanced and wise epistolary poems in David Biespiel's new collection are grounded in friendship, camaraderie, and the vulnerability and boldness that defines America.

Roving from the old Confederacy of Biespiel's native South to Portland, Oregon, Charming Gardeners explores the wildness of the Northwest, the avenues of Washington, D.C., the coal fields of West Virginia, and an endless stretch of airplanes and hotel rooms from New York to Texas to California.

These poems explore the "insistent murmurs" of memory and the emotional connections between individuals and history, as well as the bonds of brotherhood, the ghosts of America's wars, and the vibrancy of love, sex, and intimacy. We are offered poems addressed to family, friends, poets, and political rivals — all in a masterful idiom Robert Pinsky has called Biespiel's "own original grand style."

I should stop back there

And stand on both feet in the grazing sunlight

And hear this chorus of America singing.

But I am so afraid of the testament of the delivered.


About the Author

David Biespiel is the author of four collections of poetry, including Wild Civility and The Book of Men and Women. He also contributed to Politico from 2008 to 2012.


"These are lengthy, traveling poems that talk and click along like a train (though most of the travel is by plane), engines full of breath. It's an encyclopedic book, chock-full of references of every kind, both personal and general . . . a book that strikes out to find America."—Joe Linker, The Coming of the Toads, October 17 2013

"David Biespiel's Charming Gardeners is unlike any book I've read in a long time. Filled with epistolary poems, his book – despite being populated by the poet's friends and family – is actually a work of great loneliness. In many ways, Biespiel's journey is America's, where the road is both a symbol of arrivals, but also departures, and in between is solitude."—John Ebersole, New Books in Poetry

"[This] incandescent collection grabs hold of and portrays the ghosts of history, family, and place that captivate the poet."—Susan Seligson, Bostonia


"Biespiel can excel with Northwestern landscape . . . and his looks at U.S. history are at once informative and grand. Biespiel's verse letters [are] like letters in a correspondence, as part of an effort towards unguarded friendship, attentive to a poet with much to say."—Publishers Weekly, September 2013
University of Washington Press
Pacific Northwest Poetry Series

9780295994550 : charming-gardeners-biespiel
Paperback / softback
144 Pages
$18.95 USD

Other Titles by David Biespiel

Republic Café

David Biespiel
Jan 2019 - University of Washington Press
$24.95 USD - Hardback

The Book of Men and Women

David Biespiel
Mar 2013 - University of Washington Press
$22.95 USD - Hardback
$16.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Wild Civility

David Biespiel
Oct 2003 - University of Washington Press
$29.95 USD - Hardback
$16.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles from Pacific Northwest Poetry Series

Post Romantic

Kathleen Flenniken, series edited byLinda Bierds
Oct 2020 - University of Washington Press
$19.95 USD - Hardback

The Grief of a Happy Life

Christopher Howell
Oct 2019 - University of Washington Press
$24.95 USD - Hardback

Where Outside the Body Is the Soul Today

Melissa Kwasny
Sep 2017 - University of Washington Press
$19.95 USD - Hardback

Other Titles in POETRY / American / General

A Drunken Man on a Bicycle

D. S. Butterworth
May 2021 - Lynx House Press
$18.00 USD - book

Long Coordinates

Christina de Villier
May 2021 - Lynx House Press
$18.00 USD - book

Osage Elegy

Carlos Reyes
May 2021 - Lynx House Press
$18.00 USD - book

Other Titles in Cultural studies

Viral BS

Dr. Seema Yasmin
Jan 2021 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$24.95 USD - book
$24.95 USD - ebook

Communist Gourmet

Albena Shkodrova
Jan 2021 - Central European University Press
$27.50 USD - Paperback / softback

Generous Thinking

Kathleen Fitzpatrick
Jan 2021 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$29.95 USD - Hardback
$19.95 USD - Electronic book text
$19.95 USD - book