Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Book Review: Fire in the Pasture, edited by Tyler Chadwick

Title: Fire in the Pasture: 21st Century Mormon Poets
Author: Tyler Chadwick
Enjoyment Rating: *****
Source: Paper Copy

I'm teaching Literature of the LDS at BYU Salt Lake this semester. When I agreed to teach, I felt pretty confident in my ability to talk about essays, short stories, novels, film, and even drama, but I knew that I'd need some help with poetry. I asked friends for recommendations on what text I should use, and the universal response was Tyler Chadwick's Fire in the Pasture, which is an anthology containing several hundred poems by modern Mormon poets. Several hundred poems still felt daunting, and since the world of Mormon Lit is pretty small, I took a chance and emailed Chadwick, explaining my situation, and within a day, he emailed back with a list of the poems he'd recommend I use with my students. We had a great discussions about baby blessings, baptisms, missionary experiences, teaching Primary, laundry, canning fruit, wedding night jitters, and boob jobs. This collection is full of great poems that my students found relatable and funny and meaningful, and I can't wait to spend more time with it.

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