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Pelican Tracks

Pelican Tracks

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Elton Glaser


Paperback (Other formats: E-book)
104 pages, 6 x 9

Crab Orchard Series in Poetry


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About the Book

Pelican Tracks is a book of poems with a homing instinct. Elton Glaser travels a restless circuit between his native Louisiana and his adopted home of Ohio, from the “spice and license of the lowlands” to the “streets of Akron cobbled in ice.” These reflections, leavened with a fierce wit and moving bravura of language, are extracted from the origins and ends of the poet’s life—his birth in the final spasms of the second World War, the fears and excitements of youth, the death of parents, and the unexpected losses of adulthood. Marking his tracks between the Pelican State and the Buckeye State, Glaser records the damaged beauty of “everything sinking, everything rising again in the mind.”


Elton Glaser, a native of New Orleans, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Akron and editor of the Akron Series in Poetry. He has published four full-length collections of poems: Relics, Tropical Depressions, Color Photographs of the Ruins, and Winter Amnesties. His poems have appeared in the 1995, 1997, and 2000 editions of The Best American Poetry and Scanning the Century: The Penguin Book of the Twentieth Century in Poetry. He coedited, with William Greenway, I Have My Own Song for It: Modern Poems of Ohio.


“Elton Glaser’s Pelican Tracks offers us an intimate and intricate portrait of gritty down-home life in Louisiana. The characters and places that populate this book reveal lives thoroughly lived and remind us that whoever and whatever surrounds us quietly invades us—in the best and perhaps worst sense of the word—and, finally, becomes us. Glaser observes ravenously and lovingly; these poems are beautifully detailed. In fact, reading these poems is not like reading really, more like watching and listening—the way we might engage a good film. There is no frivolous decoration here, no breading, just meat—no foam, just beer: dark and rich with a sharp bite after every swig. This is a singing that is both playfully and painfully desperate—like good blues, an embodied music that knows how to move gracefully between hard times and fat times.”—Tim Seibles, author of Hammerlock and Hurdy-Gurdy