How the Dead Bury the Dead
University of Akron Press
With reverence and exaspersation and good humor, the poems in William Greenway's new book, How the Dead Bury the Dead, evoke the pain of loss and celebrate the ways we transform our losses into strength. Dislocated from his native Georgia to the rust belt of the Midwest, haunted by the ghost of his father, by memories of his mother, and by dreams of his own mortality, Greenway turns his warm wit on every problem that life has set for him, a stand-up Hamlet with a soft Southern accent and a feel for the power and pathos in Richard Wilbur's line,
I dreamt the past was never past redeeming.
In poems that bring back, without nostalgia, the people and places of his early years, he reconciles the ache of absence with the deep, persistent richness of this world, finding in the practices of the Shona, and African tribe, an artistic and philosophical model for his own approach to life.
William Greenway, a native of Georgia with a BA from Georgia State University and a PhD from Tulane University, is a professor of English at Youngstown State University.