Refractions is the newest book of poetry from noted writer & scholar Stephen C. Behrendt. It was released in September 2014. This five part collection includes original woodcut prints from artist, Rebekah Wilkins-Pepiton.
“In a world that seems bent on sullying the word, Stephen Behrendt’s poems are unfailingly human. Love, sayeth the mystic, is the means and end of understanding. You find that lens, its refractions, everywhere in this fine collection.” –Robert Gibb, author of The Homestead Trilogy
“Stephen C. Behrendt’s art is to refract what is most unbending in our lives: mortality, both of humans and our ravaged earth; avarice; violence; and the fierce vectors of hunger and propagation that shoot through the lives of animals including ourselves. Refractions is a book of Georgics for a world beset with drought and frost, in which there is nothing to be done and everything depends on our doing it. A singular, stunning report from the heartland and from the heart.” –Esther Schor, author of Strange Nursery, Princeton University
“These poems ask that we look into the unseen, the corners of the house, the boundaries of the yard and beyond, into the wild. Behrendt seeks the memories that don t sit as merely pictures; rather these refractions alter and distort what we might consider absolute, staking a personal relationship by way of re-experience.” –Bret Shepard, Director of Creative Writing, University of Idaho
“These poems are very accessible examples of contemporary Americana, engaging a tradition of American Romanticism descendent from Wordsworth and Emerson. These poems are fully grounded in an everyday life that is invested with significance through the poet’s feelings and perceptions, and they contribute significantly to a growing body of early twenty-first-century war poetry. The word “refractions” then becomes a trope for our different engagements with everyday life and the variety of effects that it has upon us. Rebekah Wilkins-Pepiton’s black and white primitivist woodcuts represent images of the landscape, birds, or plant life described in Behrendt’s poetry. As is usual for collections of poetry by Shechem Press, the book is beautifully bound and typeset, and is worth the time of an afternoon’s reading or of further critical engagement.” –Dr. James Rovira, Associate Professor of English at Tiffin University, in Rhizomatic Ideas.
Stephen C. Behrendt is a native of northeastern Wisconsin who lives now in Lincoln, Nebraska, with his wife Patricia and their daughters Maia and Mei Grace, and an assortment of rescued dogs and cats. He is George Holmes Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Nebraska. An international authority on British Romantic literature and culture, he is also a widely published poet. Refractions is his fourth collection of poetry.