Official website of the prize-winning poet and author of
SNARE & Romer
TTo be published in July 2018 by Etruscan Press.
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Robert Eastwood sniffs the citronella of memory, a cue far more bitter than Proust's madeleine, with none of Wordsworth's tranquility. What that dark odor unlocks is a past steeped in threat and fear. Some of this past is personal, some of it historical. We glimpse Emily Dickinson through the eyes of her ambivalent "Preceptor," Thomas Higginon: "She made phrases twist & wriggle/into shirt-sleeves one thought too tight/ for sense." Eastwood does as much, delving into the darker corners of his country's history. He shows us, for example, the San Creek massacre as well as the madness of "Boston" Corbett, the man who killed John Wilkes Booth. That early darkness, as he demonstrates, becomes the template for later times, for his own nuclear-era America,his family in flight from the all-too-vulnerable West Coast. What they find in their new home in the Oaarks is refuge, but also squalor and poverty, the "Smell of mold...to toilet, no inside water. But refuge." In verse that is deft and sensual, attuned to sound and rhythm, Eastwood conjures not just memories but their physical embodiment, taking us back to his own and country's childhood, a time of wonder, but also fo terror.
In Snare, Robert Eastwood transforms historical narrative into a tool for exploring interior themes of vilence and refuge. Though he doesn't hisitate to take on universal issues, he is a mast of the immediate and the visceral. Whether it's the Civil War on the Cold War, we relive it through all the senses, encountring "the odor of beaver soak," "the pleady voices of mothers," "the bitterness of backyard burning." His historical portraits and persona poems are as richly reimagined as his own Cold War boyood, or his present day search for his former home. This book is a descriptive tour-de-force.
- Jeanne Wagner
In Robert Eastwood's Snare, voices from the past, both historical and personal, insinuate themselves into the present even as the present sinks into the past and time becomes the snare that entraps us all. Only imagination can free us, allowing us to travel beyond ourselves in time and space, and Eastwood's imagination is far more than adequate to the task. In these poems, as stunning in their images as they are authentic in their cadences, Eastwood becomes the historical figures to whom he gives voice, most compellingly in the splendid lon poem "All Is Done." These voices yield to his own as a boy and then as a man, and cumulatively render the world imagined and world remembered in all its cruelty and beauty. These are poems that matter to the mind and to the heart.
- Lynne Knight
Robert Eastwood lives in San Ramon, California. He has had many jobs: a soda jerk, a turret lathe operator, a construction laborer, a gardener, a soldier, a telephone craftsman, a manager, an engineer, a statistician, a labor contract negotiator, a business executive, and a high school English teacher. Throughout his life he has written poems and stories as an alternative but persistent calling. His prize winning poems have appeared in many literary journals and anthologies, such as Oxford Magazine, New Zoo Poetry Review, Ekphrasis, The Dirty Napkin, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Full Of Crow, Legendary, Up The Staircase Quarterly, Literary Yard, Kentucky Review, Bird’s Thumb, The Hartskill Review, Spry, Loch Raven Review, Halfway Down the Stairs, Steel Toe Review and others. His chapbooks are Over Plainsong, The Welkin Gate, and Night of the Moth, published by Small Poetry Press. He has twice been nominated of the Pushcart Prize.