More than ten years in the making, this volume of 87 new poems by Steve Luttrell, former poet laureate of Portland, Maine, conjures the beauty of the New England Coast and the enduring power of nature. In sparse, accessible verse, the poet evokes the wild Maine landscape–the rocks and wildlife, the shifting planets, and the surging waters–at the same time that he casts an observant eye on his fellow creatures. He deftly melds the eternal and the transitory, the extraordinary and the routine in lines such as, “the light of long/dead stars/and the dogs/sleeping/under the bed.” He imbues the small routines of daily life with quiet significance and casts the enormity of the cosmos to human scale.
Luttrell is the founder and publishing editor of the acclaimed Café Review, which has published for a remarkable 25 years and printed the work of twelve Pulitzer Prize winners. He hosts his own TV Show (Poet’s Café), and has run the historical Portland Club, giving him a strong presence in the region and a large following among New England poets and writers. His intimate, unassuming voice is driven by a musician’s sense of rhythm and a deceptive simplicity: “and the ships/at anchor/an emblem of/waiting/but March/is a time/of endurance/and the channel/waters deep/so waiting is/what we will do/knowing/there can be no/other way.” The author has published five chapbooks and six major editions of poetry, including Home Movies, Conditions, The Vagaries: A Winter’s Sequence, and Pemaquid and Other Poems. Plumb Line secures Luttell’s place as an important voice in contemporary poetry.