About the Book
North American Stadiums was chosen by Henri Cole as the winner of the inaugural Max Ritvo Poetry Prize, and was published by Milkweed Editions in June 2018. About the book Cole wrote,
"This powerful, absorbing first book has the sound and feel of a younger generation. Brilliant language, intelligence, and feeling make North American Stadiums matter. Factory lights, border patrol, gin, handguns, smoke stacks, and war are the geography of many of these eloquent poems, but the solitary poet is always scrutinizing the world with the eyes of a lover."
More information about the prize and the incredible roster of writers that Milkweed supports can be found here.
Words about the Book
EAVAN BOLAND: "These are poems of memory and longing--compelling, lyrical and unsetttling. The furniture provided to memory is of the vistas, subway cars and closed windows of different cities. The unsettling feeling comes with the revelation that for all the urban inventory, this is an American pastoral. A spacious glimpse of an old adventure: a poet pushing towards his own frontier. And Grady Chambers is a wonderful poet, equal to the task."
BRUCE SMITH: "You can tell from the opening notes that Grady Chambers has chops. He can be rhapsodic – a Midwest rhapsody that includes light from port cranes and train horns in the Twin Cities. He can be elegiac -- he’s a genius at departures and fingering the bones in the reliquaries of the open road. He’s got the traveler’s wandering [wondering] instinct and the [in] dweller’s intimacy. At work is a severe moral imagination and a filmic imagination 'shining with something living/while it burns.' What a privilege it is to receive the dispatches of this exceptional book."
GABRIELLE CALVOCORESSI: "The poems of Grady Chambers fill me with so much pleasure. Intimate histories that never shy away from their speaker's complicity in sorrow but also in wonder. These are poems rooted in an idea we call America that understand what cost that naming comes with. What does it mean to make a pastoral of work you've never done? Grady drives a stake into the heart of the patronizing pastoral we make of backbreaking work and unforgiving labor. This is a poetry of the next chapter in our country's search for meaning."
DAVID MEANS: "These poems reminded me in the best way of Denis Johnson, Walt Whitman, Philip Levine, and even Jack Kerouac. Reading North American Stadiums reminded me that there is always room, infinite room, for another great new poetic voice, a young soul searching for emotional truth, probing with sensitive emotion the hidden American places. As a matter of fact, I’d say we need this book right now. We need this new voice."