Evidence of the Journey, which received honorable mention for the Shenandoah/Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers, was released in 2007 by Harmon Blunt Publishing (New York). The title poem was the recipient of the Friends of Literature Prize from POETRY magazine and the Poetry Foundation.  An earlier version of the manuscript (Off Little Misery Island) was a finalist for The Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, The Walt Whitman Award (Academy of American Poets), The Kathryn A. Morton Prize (Sarabande Books), The Brittingham and Pollak Prizes (University of Wisconsin) and the Wick Poetry Prize (Kent State). Individual poems in this book originally appeared in: The Kenyon Review, New England Review, The New Republic, Ploughshares, POETRY, Poetry Daily, Slate.com, The Southern Review, TriQuarterly and other magazines. 

"The closely observed, condensed, true poems in Evidence of the Journey are constantly startling, convincing bulletins from "the smoldering front lines/ of the home front."   Jonathan Galassi 

“Anyone who loves music and dancing has had the pleasant experience of taking ordinary turns with ordinary partners, but there's a thrill of dancing with someone who knows more, who subsumes you with unexpected grace. Turn a few pages of Ralph Sneeden’s Evidence of the Journey and poise, the charm, the energy takes over.  Sneeden is accomplished, versatile, exciting as few poets were born to be.  His voice makes you trust the right way is the way he’s going.  He can be as salty as he likes, he has strength and grip and distance. I loved these poems from beginning to end.”     Dave Smith

 "Ralph Sneeden’s poems are substantial, testing the tongue and the teeth, freighted with word-substance and world-substance.  They are not afraid of stories, or of the deep oddness and even violence inside the ordinary, like the aunt’s police revolver in her pocketbook in the poem “Revolver.”  At the same time, with beautiful tact, Sneeden knows what to leave out, what to leave to the auspices of silence.  His is a world of smoky family gatherings, remembered war, childhood scenes, estuaries, fishing, empty parks, all recreated and questioned with keen and humane intelligence: “Why look to the other cold planets/ when the wastes are here at home?” (“Elegy for Wolf Vishniac”).  This is an admirable and clear-sighted book.    Rosanna Warren

“Visual clarity, economy, mystery, emotional precision, formal authority, along with the quirky wit of deep truth – every page of Evidence of the Journey offers immensely rewarding reading.  It’s a rare occasion when a first book contains the work of a master poet.”       David Huddle

Related Links:

"No River Road" read aloud by actor Ken Marks on POETRY foundation website

"Surfer's Eulogy" set to music by composer Kevin Siegfried for "Three Horizons" 

 

 

(Author Photo: Steve Lewis/Cover: "Santorini"—Katina Houvouras)