Like the poetry of Richard Hugo, whom George Looney invokes in so many of his own poems, this is a poetry deeply sad, the landscapes brutal, the images grim. I myself think often of contemporary balladeers such as Richard Thompson and Tom Waits reading this work, turning my mind to all that which we don’t expect art to notice, attend to, mourn and celebrate. Looney has given the Midwest back to us in lines so tender and beautiful we can almost believe we are worthy of them.

—Kathy Fagan, author of Sycamore