A Childhood in the Milky Way
Becoming a Poet in Ohio
David Brendan Hopes
University of Akron Press
How does a young boy discover his vocation as a poet in what is seemingly the least poetical of environments, the industrial Midwest of the 1950s and 1960s? By turns comic and dramatic, at once down to earth and otherworldly in its homegrown mysticism, A Childhood in the Milky Way answers that question, lighting up a special boyhood in one small corner of the galaxy. Part memoir, part meditation on what it means to be a poet in America at the end of the millennium, this book follows the early life of David Brendan Hopes in Akron, Ohio, where the going was sometimes rough and the people rougher, though they could also be fanciful, naive, driven by inarticulate desire, and, on occasion, haunted by the voices of angels and bards. In his growing up, the author found in the mysteries of childhood a way to enter the mysteries of religious and artistic vision.
Born and raised in Akron, Ohio, David Brendan Hopes now lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where he is Professor of Literature at the University of North Carolina and director of Urthona Press, the Black Swan Theater Company, and the Downtown School of the Arts. After completing his BA at Hiram College, Hopes earned an MA at Johns Hopkins University and an MA and PhD at Syracuse University. His first book of poems, The Glacier’s Daughters, won the Juniper Prize and the Saxifrage Prize. He has published a nonfiction book, A Sense of the Morning, and a second collection of poetry, Blood Rose.