Gnashing Teeth Publishing

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Excavator

a house in cast metal on a square of fake grass on a black gradient background

The poems of Excavator explore the landscapes of daily life, both those exterior as well as interior, covering ground from the South and Southwest U.S. to Mexico City and Spain.  From the daily life full of consumer over-abundance as well as treasured family heirlooms, from the nocturnal suburban moonscape to the blazing rural stretch of highway, from the cluttered bedroom to the chaotic disarray of the mind, these poems excavate legacies of meaning and value inherited from the late 20th century that bloomed into the spectacular, technological revolution of the 21st century’s first two decades.  Through these poems, the reader travels landscapes of daily life and their multi-tiered sedimentation of memory, the present, and consciousness of future, watching the lines sensually wind and frenetically writhe between sites of meaning such as home, work, family, and travel.  The voice in these pages works to wrest the agency of signification from the structures that wield it in our world of media, technology, power, and consumerism and return it to the individual and their capacity for forming profound connections between themself and the world around them.  What these poems ultimately seek is the ongoing explosion of a language that never settles back into its own patterns, that continually searches for new connections and means for renewal, thereby returning the reader continually to the site of formation where all possibilities become generative once again.

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Joshua Hamilton's risk-taking, often torrential poems give meticulous attention to environment and nature and fuse eyewitness and contemplation with shapeshifting, inventive flair. One way to consider Hamilton's intense, indefatigable wizardry in Excavator is to consider his dynamically limned landscapes, whether 'summer-covered Tennessee' or sub-tropical Texas, as protean, surreal self-portraits ('When I / was a child I was a blue plastic car /lost in the bottom of the canal. My /mother was a radiant green window /full of ferns; my father was a horserace'). These crackling poems are also the vibrant, prismatic bulletins of a wholly sentient, engaged, and visionary poet functioning on all cylinders. What an exciting debut!

Joshua Bridgwater Hamilton’s Excavator plunges us into domestic landscapes charged by moonlight, geology, and family history, where gorgeous artifacts such as “seductive eaves,” a “gray mink coat,” or “lace-covered / sofa arms” emerge from the poems’ tender and intellectual sifting. Dissolving rather than resolving, the scenes in these poems remind us that seeing ourselves in history doesn’t stop us from seeking to understand it. This book induces the sweetest ache.

Meet the Author

Joshua Bridgwater Hamilton is a Louisville, KY native who lives in Norman, OK.  Between Kentucky and Oklahoma, he has traveled and lived in several places, including Spain, Appalachia, Panamá, Peru, the Philippines, the Colorado River, and Texas.  He earned a BA in English and Humanities and an MA in Spanish from the University of Louisville, holds a doctorate in Spanish with Indiana University, and is currently an MFA Poetry candidate at Texas State University.  Joshua has worked as a dishwasher, barista, bookseller, and currently teaches  He has two chapbooks: Rain Minnows with Gnashing Teeth Publishing and Slow Wind with Finishing Line Press.  His poetry appears in such journals as Windward Review, Voices de la Luna, Tiny Seed Journal, Amarillo Bay, The Dillydoun Review and San Antonio Review.

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