The Onion's Dark Core by David Bottoms


The Onion's Dark Core by David Bottoms


A Tom Lombardo Poetry Selection

8 x 5.25 paperback

176 pages

ISBN 978-1-935708-02-5

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“David Bottoms is one of our necessary poets, a Southern writer rooted in place and coming to terms—or trying to—with ultimate things. This deeply considered little book—offhandedly personal, keenly thoughtful—treats poetry with the seriousness it deserves as ‘the most natural vehicle of the spirit,’ a quest for the divine.”

  — Edward Hirsch, author of The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems


“What Bottoms has to say about place in poetry, consequence in poetry, and his own role in the murky matter, not to say sound, of Southern poetry is worth the price of multiple volumes. Bottoms writes something more like meditation than criticism and his book will pleasure long and well the most discriminating as well as the amateur reader.”

  — Dave Smith, author of Little Boats, Unsalvaged: Poems 1992-2004


“David Bottoms has always been one of the seekers and yearners among our poets.  In these pages he gives us an indelible sense of why that is so.  Rooted in experience, rich with a sense of place, wise and frankly honest, these essays and interviews give an encouraging vision of our poetry as it makes its uncertain way into the 21st century.”

  — Mark Jarman, author of Epistles: Poems


“An exquisite story-teller . . . Bottoms makes astounding leaps of both faith and doubt, and does so with insight, honesty, and flashes of anger.  Bottoms’s recipe for making a poetry so original and vital begins by combining historical dimensions and contemporary perspective, adds suffering and a twist of forgiveness, plus some family secrets and moments of exultation thrown in for good measure.  Above all, there are his unflinching sensibility to extract blessing from the degradations of daily life and his dynamic narrative skills.”

   The Southern Review


“David Bottoms is a trailblazer in the true way poetry should go, which is toward an opening out of experience, the discovery of a realm where the reader’s sensibility is as important as the poet’s, but could not be energized in this way without it.  This is remarkable, and a wonderful releasing power to those who conceive of poetry as case history, limited to the individual and his private sorrows.  Bottoms is the real thing; many will follow.”

  — James Dickey


“From the start, Bottoms has written deceptively accessible poems that become more complex, more mysterious with each reading . . . Bottoms’s poems do what the best poems have always done: They compel us to reread them.  They linger in our minds.  They alter our perception of the world.”

  — The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


About the Author

David Bottoms’s first book, Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump, was chosen by Robert Penn Warren as winner of the 1979 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets. He is the author of six other books of poetry and two novels. Among his many other awards are The Levinson Prize and The Frederick Bock Prize from Poetry, an Ingram Merrill Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He has been the Richard Hugo Poet-in-Residence at the University of Montana and the Ferrol Sams Distinguished Writer at Mercer University. He lives with his wife and daughter in Atlanta, where he holds the Amos Distinguished Chair in English Letters at Georgia State University. He is the founding co-editor of Five Points: A Journal of Literature and Art, and he serves as the Poet Laureate of Georgia.