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Base Camp

by Steve Nolan

Base Camp cover

The poems in Base Camp take us from the steep slopes of Mt. Everest to the darkness where thirty-three Chilean miners are trapped. With an insistent empathy born of passion, trauma, and illness, Nolan's poems reach out to women making their daily trek for water and to an ice-trapped whale, from a medic tending the wounded in the range of fire to an abused three-year-old hiding in shadows. Written with a directness that does not indulge in distracting pyrotechnics of obscurity, these poems invite us "home/to the repository of music: the human heart."

--Luray Gross, author of Lift

Steve Nolan's collection of poems span a lifetime of serious reflection on war, politics, religion, mental and physical health, and the ways we can cope with the mayhem. He brings his therapeutic training, military experience, and lapsed Catholicism to bear on a sometimes humorous, sometimes painful world of experience.

Now more than ever, we need Steve Nolan's new book, this act of witness, this poetry base camp from which to launch a renewed campaign against the ruthless armies of premeditated greed, environmental devastation, and willful ignorance. Though Nolan, who served in Afghanistan and is now an active worker for peace and social justice, explores the violence not just of armed aggression, but of crippling illness, his is not a book of rage, but of attention and love and persistence; that is to say, it is profoundly spiritual. Its crafted and compelling poems offer us a base camp to which we can return again and again not just for resolve but for grace The first poem of the book ends, "You were a witness, it's up to you/whether you testify," and the last poem invites us not to "refuse the call." His book gives us the courage to answer this call.

       —Christopher Bursk, author of The Improbable Swervings of Atoms

The poems in Base Camp employ a language that is both lucid and unflinching as, in striking images, Nolan ponders the weight of his experiences as soldier, therapist, cancer patient, and as a new bridegroom at sixty-three. His eyes light on a magpie atop a mosque at the same moment his fellow soldiers' fingers "fumble with the wires attached to mines." His expansive outlook honors the birds "meant to fly into the borderless / expansive sky." where, according to Nolan, the voices of the dead are dying to be heard, if only we will listen to them.

       —Sharon Olson, author of Will There Be Music?

Title Author ISBN Price US$ Shipping US$
Base Camp by Steve Nolan ISBN: 978-1-933974-34-7 $15 each USA: $4.00 for one book; $1 each additional book
Canada: $5.00 for one book; $2 each additional book
Other non-US: $10.00 for one book; $4 each additional book

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