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“Brady Peterson’s new book of poetry, shows us, again, his ability to find language that is accessible and yet demands that we linger—and return—to find meaning. His poetry reminds us of the hold of memory. It reminds us that love makes loss so much harder. Yet, love allows us to walk through the pain to what light there may be. Peterson’s search for that light is a gift.”

~ Myra McLarey, Water from the Well 


  • “Peterson is a Texas transplant, a sacramental coffee drinker, a romantic morning watcher of dew dripping from eaves, and an elemental writer. Here a bit of Carver; here a bit of Bilgere and Heaney. His poems are ponderences of consequences, redemptions, and atonement: ‘the narrative escapes us.’ The narrative ruminations––of the mysterious path of innocence to experience––are among my favorites. Peterson is both a husband and father. ‘He sleeps under a fan and sweats the night / into his sheets, the window cracked enough / to let in the sound of a car passing, / his wife breathing next to him…’”

    ~ Scott Hightower, Part of the Bargain and Self-Evident


    “‘I will show you fear in a handful of dust,’ T. S. Eliot warns his reader in The Wasteland. Brady Petersen’s Dust is haunted by Eliot from the title onward. His poems pose the overwhelming questions: Can we recover from loss and grief, the burial of our dead? Is the world charged with the grandeur of God? Or are the signs the poet sees ‘hollow omens,’ his poems mere ‘muttered incantations against the chill’? Petersen’s poems look hard at what’s hard to look at—a school shooting, a murdered stranger, a beloved daughter’s death—and they do not flinch. But Dust is not just a litany of loss—though it is that, and movingly so. Petersen’s poems, by their very being, refuse to let death have the last word. ‘O taste and see,’ each poem sings, in the blunt face of mortality: ‘Here is love in a handful of Dust.’

    ~ Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, Lovers’ Almanac


    “Reading Dust, Brady Peterson’s impressive new poetry collection, provides pleasures one usually only finds listening to a soundtrack unfurl from the dashboard of your car on a long road trip. The poems give us a voice to identify with, a kind, wry, clear-eyed American voice that exudes solitude while always reaching out with empathy to understand the people and situations that crowd these poems. The landscape provides the backbeat and sometimes takes a solo—the eponymous dust of Texas, the droughts and rain and frost, bare trees, dirt roads, blue water, plowed fields, crows, hawks, and turkey vultures, daughters, wives, and brothers. It is a hard world, morally and visually, to wrest meaning from, to feel like you matter in, but the pleasure of the collection is watching Brady Peterson try again and again, with good faith and a fresh cup of coffee, to do just that.”

    ~ Constance Squires, Along the Watchtower

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