An epic poem in the form of a lyrical map, Fossil Sky is a remarkable creation of originality and beauty. Composed on a single large sheet, it liberates poetry from the conventions of page and book. Fossil Sky distills a year of walks taken near the poet’s home, tracing the paths a mind takes through landscape, history, and ideation. The poem’s formal daring is combined with an inviting and direct personal voice, an inner voice adrift—broken up by landscape, space, time and silence.
David Hinton’s many translations of ancient Chinese poetry have earned wide acclaim for creating compelling contemporary poetry. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as numerous fellowships from the NEA and the NEH.
Hinton has re-defined the boundaries of poetry in print which is something very exciting, indeed. Fossil Sky folds out like a map. And I’m not speaking in simile; this is literal. It can be spread across a tabletop, a floor, your lap in the car. I am stunned by the thing as an object. Is this where readers of contemporary poetry should be looking to set their fingers to pulse? — Olivia Cronk, Bookslut
Fossil Sky describes a landscape: the south of France . . . it’s a portrait we receive in fragments—a tatter of sky here, of water there, with images of bright summer fields blurring into ones of frost. — Seven Days
[T]he layering of these drawn-out stanzas, within the poem’s blue horizon . . . create something like a simultaneous network, rather than linear “message,” initiates an entirely different experience for the reader. — Jonathan Skinner, Ecopoetics