Paul Martin

Paul MartinPaul Martin is the author of three chapbooks: Green Tomatoes, Walking Away Waving, and Morning on Canal Street. His poems have appeared in America, Boulevard, Commonweal, 5 AM, New Letters, Poetry East, Prairie Schooner, River Styx, Southern Poetry Review, Texas Poetry Review, and other journals. He is the recipient of two poetry fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Closing Distances was twice a finalist in the National Poetry Series. He lives with his wife, Rita, in Ironton, PA and teaches part time at Muhlenberg College.

Books by Paul Martin for the Backwaters Press

Closing Distances Closing Distances by Paul Martin

Author: Paul Martin
Format: Paperback, 81 pages
ISBN: 9781935218043
Published: April 2009

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Critical Praise for Paul Martin’s Closing Distances

In Closing Distances, Paul Martin keeps alive for a little longer the people who lived in the working-class town where he grew up. Here are the old Slovak women, husbands, parents, and grandparents, brothers, the racy butcher. Here is the Slovak language that is slowly being forgotten. And here are beauty and sorrow, humor, tenderness and wisdom. In the aptly named “The Fading Photograph,” a poem about his paternal grandfather, we read, “Proud old man, forgive me for thinking I understand.” Thing is, Paul Martin does understand, and to read these wonderful, often heartbreaking poems is to share in that understanding and to be uplifted. We are much richer for these poems.
Harry Humes

For over thirty years I have admired Paul Martin’s poems. He is a master of extracting and presenting the extraordinary power of a so-called ordinary image, his rhythms are spell-bindingly surefooted, and his language has a great, subtle music that remains with the reader long after the poems are done. And, perhaps most importantly—for I believe it is the source of his great gifts—Paul Martin dares to write about love and death, their bitter-sweet intermingling, with an emotional courage and poetic mastery that is rarely encountered these days.
Len Roberts

The virtues and value of Paul Martin’s poetry lie in its emotional steadiness and the honesty of its reports of the rituals of everyday acts. Memory, like a barber’s scissors, “whispers in (his) ears” assembling in art of social conscience an immigrant history and account of a life beyond Canal and Lehigh Streets. There are no pyrotechnical formal effects—but, then, would you choose to sit by fireworks or by a well-banked hearth for warmth?
Peter Fallon

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  1. By Generous community of writers « annemichael on June 12, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    […] Thomas, Karen Bashkirew, Paul Martin (whose beautiful 2009 full-length collection is available here), Steve Myers, Kelley Jean White, Elizabeth Bodein and many others…including two of my own […]

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