Ohio University Press · Swallow Press ·

A Swallow Press Book

Bread of the Moment

By David Sanders

“The poems in David Sanders’s beautifully balanced new collection, Bread of the Moment, reach as deeply as any I know, achieving the emotional clarity of poets like Robert Hayden, Robert Hass, and W. S. Merwin. This is wise, expertly crafted work, facing mortality with humor sufficient to the need and with reverent attention to memory, nature, and the poet’s art. I am profoundly moved and instructed by this lucid book.”

Kathy Fagan, author of Sycamore: Poems

“David Sanders’s second collection of poems, Bread of the Moment, contains an astonishing breadth of emotional and physical landscapes in poems beautifully realized and forcefully felt. It is a book haunted by memory—understood as a ‘selective, mythic thing, a lie’—and alive with strikingly memorable images, like the French king’s hunting trophies, ‘sprouting enormous racks, / like dozens of arms, hands, / reaching out to me from the stone blocks, / frozen, locked in place.’ Bread of the Moment is an evocative book, a dynamic expression, and expansion, of Sanders’s art.”

Ernest Hilbert, author of Last One Out

“‘Every time/ is the last time. That’s what the world keeps teaching.’ Bread of the Moment’s truths are hard won, but its delights are palpable. It is night swimming in cold lake water full of stars.”

Jason Gray, author of Radiation King

“David Sanders peers into the psychology of a charged or puzzling moment, in most of these poems. Living through such moments can be painful and yet the pondering of them brings a kind of nourishment. In ‘So, I Tell Myself’ he contemplates an odd confluence of small misfortunes, and the poem enables him to escape from a paranoid interpretation of that confluence. ‘Matinée’ notices how a mood of inflated pride (as when you see yourself as Cary Grant or Gregory Peck) inevitably must come down to street level—though a poised account of this humbling descent allows for the more sustainable stardom of poetic insight.”

Mark Halliday, author of Losers Dream On

A collection of poems about time, solitude, and wisdom that leads readers to hover between acceptance of and alienation from our fragility.

Bread of the Moment, the follow-up to David Sanders' Compass and Clock (Swallow Press, 2016), devotes keen attention to the porous nature of the past and how the unbidden evidence of ordinary life pervades the world, provoking a spectrum of moments from which to draw meaning and find solace. These poems, characterized by a mix of free and formal verse, depict quiet days at home or in nature, as well as close calls and brushes with death: chronic illness, a house fire, a car crushed by a boulder.

In this way, these poems amplify the fragility of the commonplace, a mystery from which we are, amid the noise of our everyday lives, sometimes estranged. Through this exploration, Sanders constructs a precarious balance between alienation and acceptance, striking a note at once recognizable and new.

David Sanders is the author of two poetry collections from Swallow Press, Compass and Clock and Bread of the Moment. For twenty years he was the general editor of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, and he was the founding editor of Poetry News in Review. His poems and translations have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. He is a native of Portage County, Ohio.   More info →


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Retail price: $17.95, T.
Release date: November 2021
70 pages · 5½ × 8½ in.
Rights:  World

Release date: October 2021
70 pages
Rights:  World

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