The winter special issue of the Cortland Review focuses on UVA poet Gregory Orr's work, including a video interview and visit to his home. The issue features poets associated with Orr and includes work from our very own Charles Wright, Paul Guest, Debra Nystrom, and Lisa Spaar, as well as an advance review of his new book from Norton, RIVER INSIDE THE RIVER, by UVA PhD David Rigsbee.
Winter Feature: Gregory Orr
Here's an excerpt from the Rigsbee review:
Excerpts from an advance review of RIVER INSIDE THE RIVER: (Norton, June 2013):
Orr knows that tragedy befalls us because we live in time, and in writing poems, he is able to make images that reference the timeless, when ugly consequences do not follow from a moment's surrender. Yet in that imagination of timelessness, he knows we can only find temporary respite; hence, a paradox: we fall into history where the monsters are, but our poems rescue us by showing us images of the timeless. It is in our works that we are forgiven, and so the process works.
A striking meditation on art's free-standing place in the natural world and of the feeling of rightness, of restitution, even resurrectionnot of bodies, but of the sense of having been justified and hence forgiven by the thing that we do, this art.
Orr, by now a veteran pilgrim of the great wound-like void that separates immanence and transcendence, knows that theme-and-variation isn't just a method: it is itself an ancient and approved pilgrimage, and gathers to itself a richness over time. Indeed, repetition is the earth's way of knocking on eternity's door: to repeat is to resist, and in that resistance lies the image of a timeless wish: Adam and Eve "Making the holy human city,/ Making the wholly human city"a way of putting it that is as true as it is unfashionable.
David Rigsbee, The Cortland Review