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The Saint of Withdrawal, Poems by Eric Schwerer

In the fragmentary narratives of The Saint of Withdrawal, Eric Schwerer presents the world as we must inevitably perceive it: fractured and partial, existing beyond our fumbling attempts to describe it in language. And yet the stunning multiplicity of voices in these poems brings us closer to the pure experience of that world, beyond the limitations of any one perspective.

Sample Poems by Eric Schwerer

“Eric Schwerer is a young poet with a great ear (oh so rare!), an intense ‘thought-felt’ intelligence, and the ability to make his poems’ mysteries lucid (oh rarer still!). The Saint of Withdrawal is a stunning debut.”— Thomas Lux

“In ‘Seaside Boy’ the voice of nostalgic yearning asks ‘Dear Mister Misty, how much for it,/how much for all that is misty?’ Eric Schwerer’s poetry is fueled by a sense that something invaluable and numinous waits to be discovered somewhere in the misted swampy layers of memory, back there in the smoldering depths of boyhood and adolescence; at the same time, there’s a sense that discovery and revelation might prove awfully expensive for the psyche. The poems enact a dance between search and evasion, wanting to catch a quintessence that seems to try to avoid being trapped in language. The whorl is muddy but it churns green with close reflection.”— Mark Halliday

“The adventure of reading a poem by Eric Schwerer is like descending through a series of caves, where hints deepen into suggestions, and suggestions slide into moods, and moods merge with intuitions, all leading to an interconnected underground of understanding. In The Saint of Withdrawal, Schwerer explores the interiors of boyhood: its voices, vices and bewilderments. He even devises a special language through which this boyhood speaks. Daring to follow the allure of the shadows of experience, the poems in The Saint of Withdrawal shine with passionate complexity.”— Molly Peacock

Raised in Export, PA, Eric Schwerer attended Allegheny College and The Iowa Writers' Workshop. After working as a carpenter in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Ohio, he earned a PhD from Ohio University. He has taught poetry to people recovering from mental illness and now teaches in the Creative Writing department at Johnstown's University of Pittsburgh. His first book, Whittling Lessons (a chapbook, Finishing Line Press 2005), was nominated for an Ohioana Book Award.

ISBN 1933456477, 84 pages, $17.00

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